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Shooting Response Time Questioned in Jackson

By Natalie Potts
By Npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.- One east Jackson family is questioning Jackson police and dispatch response time after a shooting on Lexington Avenue, Saturday.

Residents said they were terrified while waiting for police to respond as multiple gunshots rang loud on their street. Resident Laquala Jones said she heard the gunshots near the back of her home after she spotted a man hiding in behind a tree in her backyard.

"I heard the first gun and I kinda panicked," said Jones. "It was 'pow. pow, pow, pow. I mean really loud. I mean they was actually standing by my bedroom window."

Jones said she grabbed her three children, took cover away from windows in the hallway and dialed 911. Her first call was logged on her cell phone at 9:39 p.m. Jones said she waited 13 minutes then called again.

"I called back frantic the second time. I asked, "ma'am you are sending someone because I'm scared, I'm here by myself with my kids," said Jones.

Jones' second call is logged at 9:52 p.m. Neighbors said they heard at least 10 gunshots before officers arrived. Jones' 9-year-old son said he was afraid bullets would come through a window.

"It's scary because you never know about the bullets, some of them can be small and you don't see them and they can just come right through you," said Javion Jones.

Jackson Police dispatch officials said their first shots-fired call was recorded at 9:41 p.m. and the call was dispatched at 9:45 p.m. The report said officers first arrived on the scene 10 minutes after dispatch at 9:55 p.m. Residents said they did not see officers until after 10 o'clock.

"I was standing in the door waiting, no ma'am they did not get here at 9:55," said Jones.

Officials said the city is divided into seven districts. Officers must clear their calls from their district before responding to another call. If an officer is unable to leave, dispatchers will call another officer from a neighboring district. Authorities said their response time varies on the level of staffing available. Police said they are doing their best to answer every call as soon as possible. Jones said time is precious when the stakes are high.

"It's like they didn't care, because no one was shot," said Jones. "It's a big deal to me. I have babies here, I have 4 kids."

At the time of the shooting, police said officers were in the middle of a shift change that could have contributed to a delayed response. Dispatchers said calls are given a priority level. Investigators said they have made no arrests in the shooting. If you have any information in this case call Jackson Police at (731) 425-8400 or Crime Stoppers at (731) 424-TIPS.
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