DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Nine people from a North Dallas apartment complex called 911 to report a shooting in May 2018.
Dallas police officers arrived on scene 55 minutes later.
“Somebody could have a gunshot wound and time is of the essence in that situation,” said Adam Keill, who called 911.
When Keill called from his apartment, he told the 911 call taker he heard multiple gunshots, people screaming, and saw people running from the scene.
Keill said he overheard one woman saying, ‘You are trying to get me killed.’
“I assumed they would show up in five to ten minutes,” Keill said. ”They did not. I was wondering if they were ever going to show up.”
Keill was not the only one from Overlook Ranch Apartments near Marsh Lane and President George Bush Turnpike to call 911 the night of May 12.
Police records show at least nine people called 911 to report a shooting at the apartment complex and yet this incident was given the same priority as someone calling 911 to report a minor accident.
Records show the 911 operator coded the call as a priority three general service call for random gunfire.
In Dallas, 911 calls are prioritized in one of five levels based on the information of the call. Emergency calls are given priority one status, while priority three and lower are for general service and non-critical calls.
After waiting for police to arrive for more than 40 minutes, Keill called 911 for a second time. So did another neighbor.
This time the 911 operator coded the call as a priority one. Officers were immediately dispatched and arrived at the apartment complex 12 minutes later.
Keill said he wonders if officers would have ever showed up if he had not called back a second time.
The Dallas Police Department told the CBS 11 I-Team the 911 operator on the original call made a mistake.
The department said the first person who called 911 to report the shooting had little information, only that he heard gunshots, so the call was coded as random gunfire – a lower priority call.
But when other neighbors, minutes later, called about the same shooting with more details, it should have been upgraded to an emergency high priority call.
It was not.
“Can I rely on Dallas PD to be there for me? After that incident, it’s very discouraging. I don’t feel like I can,” Keill said.
By the time officers arrived, the suspect was gone. All that was left at the scene was a pile of shell casings.
The department said through its investigation it was able to identify a suspect in the shooting and charged him with unlawful discharge of a firearm.
It does not appear as if anyone was hurt in the shooting.
In a written statement to the I-Team, a department spokesperson wrote: “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the media and bringing this to our attention so that we can provide the best service to our citizens. As a result our 911 training team has created training update notifications that will be disseminated immediately, in addition, we will be counseling with the call taker on the original call who failed to properly upgrade the priority to ensure this does not happen again.”