Local News

Questions linger in 911 call in Fayetteville shooting deaths

Posted November 22, 2009 6:03 p.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2009 7:25 p.m. EST

— Police are still investigating their handling of a 911 call from the home of a North Carolina man who shot his wife and two children before he turned the gun on himself.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that while an operator followed protocol in taking the call from the home of William "Billy" Maxwell Jr. earlier this month, investigators want to know why it took more than an hour to dispatch an officer.

Police said Billy Maxwell Jr., 47, killed his family at 314 West Park Drive. The victims included his wife, Kathryn Maxwell, 43, daughter Connor Maxwell, 17, and son Cameron Maxwell, 15.

Billy Maxwell was suffering from mental illness, the Rev. John Cook, pastor of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, told mourners at the family's funeral service on Nov. 6.

Though police haven't said whether their 911 call center equipment could have played a role, they acknowledge that it needs an upgrade.

Fayetteville's emergency operations center saw its last major upgrade in 1999. Officials learned then that the system didn't work properly.

Those problems are expected to be fixed by mid-February, when the city begins using a new, $3.2 million computer-assisted dispatch system.