DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A 911 caller’s comment to an operator Monday caused Dallas paramedics to delay their arrival to the scene of a shooting.
“What do I need to do to get y’all out here? Shoot somebody?” a Dallas Fire Rescue statement quoted the caller as saying.
The call came after Kevin Crockett, 14, was robbed at gunpoint walking home from school. Crockett said two men in masks approached him and one pulled a gun, demanding he hand over his phone.
“He said, ‘This is not a joke. I’m going to shoot you’. And, then he shot the gun,” said Crockett.
The bullet passed inches away from Crockett’s leg and hit the ground. Crockett said he let go of his phone and fell to the ground, as the men hit him in the head.
“He’s traumatized. He’s very traumatized,” said Sammy Smith, one of the neighbors who dialed 911.
Despite several calls, it took police nearly an hour and a half to arrive. Without them, paramedics refused to respond.
In its statement, Dallas Fire Rescue said first responders felt the 911 caller’s comment “raised concern for their safety.”
“They told me the ambulance would not reply to a call without the police because they’ve already been shot at. And I said, ‘so has my son!’ ” said the teen’s mother Sophia Silbas.
Last month, Dallas paramedic William An survived shots to the leg and arm he suffered responding to treat victims of an earlier shooting.
The department says: “In light of recent events, (we) have to be even more cognizant of the safety of men and women in uniform.”
Policy dictates paramedics are not expected to respond to dangerous or hostile situations without police protections.
Dallas police response, however, has lagged due to recent staffing issues.