The Main Stream

Jul 24, 2012 9:44 PM

Man waits 19 hours for cops after hearing gun shots

TUCSON - It was an extremely long night for an eastside family, waiting about 19 hours for police to respond to multiple shots being fired just outside their home.

It started out like any other night at the home; kids playing with toys and watching TV, but it all quickly changed.

The father, who did not want to be identified said, "This was not just one. This was loud bang bang bang bang."

They were gun shots that sparked screams inside the house. He told his boys to hit the deck and they did. He said, "I remember my oldest just crawling down and just coming towards the back of the room."

He quickly called 911 and began to wait, and continued to wait much longer than he expected. He said, "This took from the initial 911 call, 19 hours before police officer showed up at the door." He wasn't just annoyed, he was angry. He said, "I understand about being short handed and priority calls, but what's a priority call? Someone has to be dead or injured before officers actually go on something?"

But TPD said officers did respond getting to the area in about 5 minutes, only to find nothing. What they failed to do was make contact with the caller; something TPD admits was a mistake.

Lt. Fabian Pacheco with the Tucson Police Department said, "Yes there are things we could have done better. There are mechanisms we have in place and we'll be addressing some of those issues and certainly clearing that up with some of our officers and say hey look you need to follow through."

The next day, still with no contact with police, the family went outside and found close to a dozen shell casings in the street so they called 911 again.

This time TPD said they ran into another issue. Pacheco said, "Sunday we had the hoax call from two young girls having been kidnapped. Most of our police officers were tied up in that case. That led to a little bit longer of a delay than it would have."

Whatever the reason, it's something TPD said it will look into and that's exactly what the victims in this case want so it doesn't happen to someone else.

The other strange request the father had in this case was he wants TPD to talk with his kids to explain this isn't typical police work. TPD said it will look into that because this certainly isn't the image it wants to put out the community, particularly to kids.

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