911 call misplaced

911 call misplaced

A request for a police lookout in Dawnville was routed to Murray County.

August 30th, 2010 by Michael Stone in News

A caller from the house where a birthday party shoot-out left three dead Thursday had called 911 earlier to ask for police protection - but the call went to the wrong place.

Someone called 911 at 4:35 p.m. asking for a "lookout" at 1751 Rainbow Circle in Dawnville, Ga.

Dawnville is in Whitfield County, but the call was received in Murray County because the city is close to the county line, Peggy Vick, director of the Murray County 911 Center, said Sunday.

Vick said she has not listened to the tape and doesn't know who the caller was. She said her office took down the caller's information and passed in on to Whitfield County law enforcement.

"The call that we received was not on the actual shooting," she said. "The caller was wanting to put a lookout on, I'm assuming, [alleged shooter David Hartline's] vehicle."

It's not clear how Whitfield County responded to the forwarded request. Officials at the 911 center could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell / Chattanooga Times Free Press - Conasauga Circuit Distric Attorney, Kermit McManus, walks under crime scene tape blocking off a house deputies say three people were killed late Thursday during a domestic shootout near Dawnville in southern Whitfield County.

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell / Chattanooga Times...

Sheriff Scott Chitwood did not respond to telephone and e-mailed messages Sunday. In a press release about the shooting, Chitwood does not mention the lookout request. Four hours after the lookout request, Whitfield 911 workers heard people in the house screaming into the phone for help as gunshots blasted around them.

Mindy Bullard, 35, was holding a birthday party for her 4-year-old daughter and had told Hartline, her ex-boyfriend, not to come. But police said he showed up drunk that night and began shooting.

They say Hartline, 41, a convicted child molester from Summerville, Ga., shot Bullard's ex-husband, Kenneth Simonson, 41, of Cleveland, Tenn., and her father, Edward H. Manz III, 61, of Chattanooga. Bullard was shot and wounded as she fled on the house's roof and begged Hartline for mercy.

Police said Manz managed to return fire that killed Hartline before dying himself.

'It Happens daily'

Vick said Murray County frequently receives cell phone calls from surrounding counties because of proximity and towers in other counties sometimes are "overloaded."

"It happens daily," she said. "We think nothing of it."

Murray County Sheriff Howard Ensley said Sunday he's heard similar reports of calls crossing over.

"I have heard of the situations where a person could be in either Murray or Whitfield and the call go to a [cell phone] tower in the neighboring county," he said.

Vick said her office typically takes down the caller's information and passes it on to the related county.

She said Sunday that the tape of the 911 call would not be available until this morning.

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