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Old July 20, 2000, 07:16 AM   #1
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By Marlys Duran
Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

GREENWOOD VILLAGE — A 911 glitch prevented police from responding immediately to a deadly domestic-violence situation, and Greenwood Village authorities want to know why.

"It might have made the difference," police Lt. Dave Fisher told KCNC-TV Channel 4.

Officers were delayed eight minutes because the apartment's address did not show up on a police dispatcher's 911 screen.

When police did arrive Sunday night at an apartment at 6001 S. Yosemite St., they found a young woman dead, a man armed with a knife and a scared 3-year-old boy.

Officers shot the man when he refused to drop the knife and charged at them, police said.

A police officer had pulled the 3-year-old from the apartment before the shooting, Fisher said. The youngster, believed to be the dead woman's son, was uninjured, Fisher said.

The 24-year-old suspect was in serious condition Monday at Denver Health Medical Center with gunshot wounds in his abdomen and lower legs, hospital spokeswoman Heidi Hattenbach said.

Police did not release the names of anyone involved, including the two officers who fired.

Police received a 911 call from a third-floor apartment at the Hermitage about 8:40 p.m. Sunday. No one spoke, but a dispatcher could hear sounds of an apparent struggle. The 911 system is supposed to display both a phone number and an address, but only the phone number appeared on the screen, Fisher said.

After calling the number twice and getting no response, a dispatcher asked Qwest to trace the location, Fisher said. Eight minutes had elapsed when police finally got an address, he said.

"Once we got the information, we were there within one minute," Fisher said.

The failure of the 911 system to display the address is of great concern to Greenwood Village officials, Mayor David Phifer said.

"It's just a tragic, tragic situation," he said. "We have to investigate and find out why the number didn't show up. We need Qwest to tell us why it didn't work."

Qwest was investigating the incident Monday, spokesman Tyler Gronbach said.

"We will look at all operational functions related to the system to see what happened. We regret the incident," Gronbach said. "This is a pretty serious issue."

The database that links phone numbers and addresses to Qwest's 911 system has been provided by SCC Communications of Boulder since 1996. SCC spokeswoman Sherri Hughes-Smith referred queries to Qwest.

"We are supporting Qwest in a thorough investigation of the occurrence," she said.

Gronbach declined to discuss how the 911 system, including the database, is constructed. "That's something we wouldn't talk about," he said.

The failure of an address to appear on a 911 screen is rare but not unheard of, said Englewood Safety Services Director Chris Olson, who heads Arapahoe County's E-911 Authority board.

"The master address list is hopefully constantly updated, but there could be a glitch in the system," Olson said. "You really don't know until somebody tries to access the system."

Contact Marlys Duran at (303) 470-3939 or
[email protected]


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Old July 20, 2000, 11:54 AM   #2
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It sounds like the Greenwood Village police need to spend a little more time at the pistol range.
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Old July 20, 2000, 01:49 PM   #3
Scott Evans
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How could this woman be dead ??? The attacker did not have a gun. My God; I thought if bad guys were deprived of guns we would all be safe.

“This is my rifle, there many like it but this one is mine …”
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Old July 20, 2000, 05:18 PM   #4
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The role of the police for personal defense is to mark the chalk outline of your cold dead body and begin filing the paperwork...

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Old July 20, 2000, 05:36 PM   #5
Jeff Thomas
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"We will look at all operational functions related to the system to see what happened. We regret the incident," Gronbach said. "This is a pretty serious issue."[/quote]

'Course, we wouldn't have wanted to trust this woman with a firearm, right? Better for her to hope / pray that someone else brings a gun to save her life ... at least that's the general perspective of Denver 'authorities', right?

Timing is everything, and for people that don't get the RKBA, sometimes incidents like this help the message sink in.

Da*n shame. I feel especially sorry for this poor child.

Regards from AZ
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Old July 20, 2000, 06:56 PM   #6
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Like we've said all along. One can't rely on the state for protection and they aren't liable if they don't arrive or arrive too late. A firearm comes much closer to providing the protection needed than another anti-firearm law on the books. Even a cell phone is no substitute for a firearm when one is under attack.

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Old July 21, 2000, 01:48 AM   #7
Jeff Thomas
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Interestingly enough, there is also a book entitled 'Dial 911 and Die':

Regards from AZ
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