Family Outraged At Response Effort As Woman Dies From Shooting
Posted November 23, 2004 5:47 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — Family and friends say help should have arrived sooner for a Raleigh woman allegedly killed by her husband.
A 911 dispatcher got at least six calls about the threat and subsequent shooting.
But at least a half hour went by before 911 dispatched police or EMS.
When Demika Hinton heard the 911 tape of her and others pleading for help for her mother, Deidre Hines, she couldn't hold back tears.
The first call to 911 came from a friend, Sam Blue, at 9:49 p.m. on Oct. 29.
Caller: "He's got a gun to her head."
911 Operator: "OK, sir, I'll do everything I can to get some help out there."
Hinton and her sister also called 911 at 10:05 p.m. But they didn't have the exact address because Hines had recently moved.
Caller: "I called a little while ago about a female that may be getting attacked by her husband."
911 Operator: "Yes, sir, we're still trying to find ... get the address now."
But there was no help at the apartment when Hinton arrived.
"I was upset, raging, screaming, where are they?" Hinton said.
When Blue arrived he also called 911.
Caller: "There's no officers here, I gave -- "
911 Operator: "Because you didn't give us an address, a valid address, sir. We've got to have a valid address to get it in the system."
Because of the address confusion, EMS wasn't dispatched until 10:23, 34 minutes after the first 911 call. Paramedics arrived eight minutes later.
"They should have been there," Hinton said. "There's an EMS not even two minutes away, somebody should have been there."
When Blue got inside Hine's apartment, he told the operator what he found.
Caller: "He shot her, he shot her."
911 Operator: "Are you with her now?"
Caller: "She's right here on the floor ... we need an ambulance, he shot her."
"My mother could have been saved," Hinton said. "It was just a gunshot wound to the shoulder."
The medical examiner says there is a possibility Hines might have lived if she had received medical attention sooner.
The 911 director says his operators were working feverishly behind the scenes to find the address.
It wasn't until Blue arrived at the apartment and gave them the address that 911 dispatched help.