The sister of a D.C. man murdered a year and a half ago says if a 911 operator had been better at her job, her brother would still be alive.
Angelo Jones was shot and killed in a parking lot in the Clay Terrace neighborhood off Dix Street NE on October 2, 2010.
A man nearby who sensed trouble was about to start made a call to 911 to try to prevent violence.
Audio of that call, made public after a request from Homicide Watch DC, shows a frustrating five minute ordeal in which the man can't get the dispatcher to understand where he is.
"I'm around Clay Terrace," is one of the first things he says. Clay Terrace is a small street less that a block long and is a well-known neighborhood among police in Northeast.
But when the dispatcher asks for an exact address, the man says he's at 5339 53rd St. NE, which the dispatcher can't find.
The man should have said he was at 5339 Clay Terrace.
But he later references 54th St. NE, which along with 53rd is right near where the murder happened. The dispatcher never asks for a cross street or appears to send police in the direction of Clay Terrace.
At one point, the dispatcher gets attitude with the caller as he tries to get her to send police.
"Well, if you can come -- " he says.
"Sir, I'm not coming," she cuts him off.
The man grows increasingly concerned, saying that one person has a knife and the other has a gun. Later, on he says a fight has begun.
Finally, gun shots ring out.
"You heard that?" he asks the dispatcher.
"Yes, I heard it, I heard it," she replies.
“Yeah, that’s why I’m trying to tell y’all to come quick," the caller replies.
But at that point it was too late.
Victim Angelo Jones's sister says it was hard to listen to the 911 call.
"It just crushed everything," she said. "I couldn't believe it. He could have been still alive."
Jones says her brother had just been incarcerated for six years, and just before being killed was about to start a new job, get a new apartment, and get a new start in life. Instead it was all taken away from the father of two.
Jones believes if the dispatcher had been quicker to send help, police would have gotten there in time to stop the shooting.
The D.C. Office of Unified Communications runs the 911 system. A spokesperson said the director didn't have any comments other than ones she had already given to Homicide Watch DC.
"She probably should have asked for a cross street," Homice Watch DC quotes director Jennifer Greene as saying about the dispatcher.
Greene is also quoted as saying the part of the call where the dispatcher says she's not coming was "unprofessional," and Homicide Watch DC says Greene told them the call was "certainly not something that I would have like to have seen or heard."
It's unclear, however, if the dispatcher was ever disciplined because of her handling of the call.