'We're hurt, we're angry': Questions remain in shooting death of Raleigh teen

Cindy Bae Image
Sunday, November 6, 2022
Questions remain in shooting death of Raleigh teen
The family of a teen shooting victim wonders whether precious time was lost as a 911 dispatcher repeatedly tried to find the location

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A majority of one of the 911 calls released by police after the deadly Halloween shooting on Monday that left one teen dead and two others injured is of dispatch trying to find the location of the three shooting victims.

"Take down the address. North Raleigh, Shadowland crossing. River Birch," the caller said.

The caller is heard repeating the address several times as Xzavion Lawton, 16, was beside them.

"We need an ambulance right now," the caller said.

"We're sending them. Spell your street," dispatch said.

After five minutes, sirens can be heard on the call.

Lawton's aunt, Angel Hill, reacted to the call on Thursday.

"If timing was on their side, would they have been able to save him? If they would have gotten to him in a decent time?" Hill said. "With all the time it took for them to continue to repeat the same thing over and over again. That could have been time put towards saving him."

Stephen Cody, quality assurance supervisor for Raleigh/Wake 911, said he doesn't believe time was a factor.

"The time the call came in, until that time, there's only about six minutes," Cody said. "I know that sounds like a long time, but that's actually really fast. But that's also why staying on the line and doing the medical stuff with the caller is very important."

Cody explained how listening to a call afterward is different from real-time.

"You have a lot going on, and you're trying to spell it right. They talk really fast," Cody said. "A lot of times the callers are trying to talk over what we're asking them, and it gets to ... this cross conversation and everybody's not hearing each other."

Cody said this is a sad situation but it's important for callers to remain calm and on the line.

"We want the calls to stay on the line with us so we can provide patient care," Cody said. "If we happen to lose contact with them before responders get there, we don't want to have a person calling back, looking for them."

On Thursday, juvenile was arrested in Lawson's death. , Still, questions remain as Lawton's family is remembering their loved one known as "Boonchie" as a loyal person whose smile is contagious.

"We're confused, we're hurt, we're angry," Hill said. "It's a lot of different emotions. It's just all about processing them right now. Too many children with guns and not enough people valuing life."

Lawton will be buried in Virginia, where he's from, on Nov. 12, according to Hill.