Authorities in North Carolina released audio from two 911 calls on Monday that captured the terrifying moments before a deadly shootout between a gunman and police in a suburban neighborhood outside Charlotte.
Two police officers were injured during the shootout and the gunman, who Gaston County Police reportedly identified as Jeffrey Clyde Wilkes, was killed.
In one call at 9:18 pm on Saturday night, a man can be heard whispering into the phone.
“He’s in the house,” the man says.
“Your dad’s in the house?” the dispatcher asks.
“The gunman,” the man says.
Shouting can be heard in the background, then the man tells the dispatcher, “He just killed my dad. He just killed my dad.”
The father, who was apparently dead before the police showed up, was identified as a retired Gastonia police officer, Charles Dean Thompson.
In a second call, a woman in a nearby home tells the dispatcher that a man was in the front yard shooting a gun. “Please hurry,” the caller says, adding, “He shot me in the arm.”
As the woman, Debra Childress, explains that the gunman is in the house and appears to be coming after her, the dispatcher calmly tells her to remain as quiet as she can.
“Stay on the phone with me,” the dispatcher says.
Childress was later transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, the police said in a release. When officers arrived, the police said, Wilkes, who had a shotgun and a pistol, “confronted” them.
“That suspect engaged officers,” Gaston County Police Chief Joseph Ramey told reporters. “Two officers were shot. The suspect shooter was shot and killed.”
Both officers sustained non-life threatening injuries, the police said. The motive for the entire episode is still under investigation.