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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news April 16, 2014


6/13/2013 6:02:00 AM
911 call released in accidental fatal shooting by 4-year-old
Prescott Valley Police stand outside the home on Truwood Drive where an adult male was shot by his son on Friday, June 7. Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Prescott Valley Police stand outside the home on Truwood Drive where an adult male was shot by his son on Friday, June 7. Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier

Prescott Valley Police released a 911 call about the fatal shooting of Justin Stanfield Thomas of Phoenix, by his 4-year-old son, in a Prescott Valley home last Friday.

Thomas was fatally shot at the Prescott Valley home just minutes after arriving, after his 4-year-old son found a loaded .380 caliber gun on the television stand.

During the 5 minute 911 call 26-year-old James Williams performs CPR on Thomas as emergency personnel are dispatched to the home.


Click "play" to hear 911 call.

Related Stories:
• 4-year-old found loaded gun near TV before killing dad, police timeline reveals
• 4-year-old boy accidentally shoots, kills dad in Prescott Valley



Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013
Article comment by: if you listened i think it was odd

I think it was odd that one part in that recording the guy says, I was sleeping and he stopped by to pick something up????? like what? what was he picking up? hummmmmm

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013
Article comment by: PV Resident

I found the 911 call to be a little distrubing. However, the dispatcher as others have commented was very good. I do think tho she could have started the cpr a little sooner, but I really dont think it would have made a difference. My heart goes out to the young boy and his family. What a terrible thing happened and he will deal with it for the rest of his life. Let us pray that he gets some counseling to help him deal with thus horrible accident.

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2013
Article comment by: Moctezuma Patron

Wait, aren't you the same people who complain because the government is too secretive, not transparent and doesn't release enough information??

So here the government releases information at the media's request and you people have your panties in a bunch. You need to make up your minds. You can't have it both ways.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Too Bad So Sad

It amazes me how people get so upset at news agencies for publishing information such as this 911 phone call... This is a news agency, their prime purpose in life is to tell the news, get over it!

News agencies all over the United States publish the same kinds of things, the Daily Courier is not the ONLY news agency to follow this type of reporting tactic or policy.

Google "911 Phone Calls" and you'll notice over 39 million different results of which almost ALL of them are by a news agency somehwere in the United States.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: PV Neighbor

I went to court last year over some issues I had with a certain person and all of that information is available for anyone to obtain.

All of the evidence and reports used and submitted in my court case is available for anyone who decides they want to get a copy of it all. You don't have to be related to me, work with me or even know a single thing about me in order to obtain this information... it's all just sitting there waiting for anyone who decides they want to have a copy of it.

Some of you might be suprised to know that anything you have ever done, ie, copies of your divorce proceedings, moving violations, public complaints, insurance info, vehicle registration information or anything else that has your name attached to it is all available for anyone who wants it. FYI


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Button Square Pants

Anytime you get arrested, call 911 or go to court over any situation, it all becomes "Public Information".

The courts, police departments or any other agency does not decide what gets published, it's information made available to the General Public through something called "The Freedom of Information Act". If you don't like it, then be upset at our United States Government for making this possible.

This isn't just information that news agencies are able to obtain, you or I can also obtain this same information if you want it. If you want to know what your neighbors court case was about or your grandmas arrest was regarding, you can get all this information if you know how to go about requesting this... ANYONE can obtain your arrest photo, arrest record, court proceedings info or 911 call audio tape.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Craig Arps

Who the heck wants to listen to that? Seriously, Courier I know you're a left-wing flyer but I thought you at least had a little decency left. The folks involved should be left alone in probably the most tragic and traumatic event of their lives not pasted have their calls blasted all over the place.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Alan Whitney

I think it should be against the law to release 911 recordings, in most cases.

Publishing them is an offence to decency, in most cases.

No, I did not play it.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Fade to Black

... Life is harsh and you can't hide from it forever.

Listen, don't listen -- I couldn't care less. Just stop whining about it. Good grief.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Attentive Listener

@Courier- Seriously? Have some standards.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Citizen

Wow, Steven Major your a sad case.
I listened to the tape and I heard people trying to do the right thing. You can never respond to a tragedy on your own and know just exactly what to do. The 911 dispatcher did well. She stopped more victims by having him secure the weapon. He was in panic mode and unsure if the gun was all the way unloaded. Start CPR is what I heard. They did what they were told in a state of confusion and tragedy. I am sure the child was scared and did not know what to do or turn to with his father shot. The guy who lived there clearly did not know what had happened but responded well. This was a tragedy and a avoidable accident. God bless all who was involved. There was no gore to this, it was people trying to do the right thing.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

I didn't listen either. Shameful decision by the Courier to sell advertising by having people listen to a man's death. You should take this down if you have any sense of decency.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: I Too

I too won't listen. I think it's distasteful and just on here to drive people to the website.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Don't Listen

I chose not to listen to this tape. I personally find it tacky that the Courier posted it. While I would call 911 if it could save a life or assist in safety, I understand the comment from the reader who said that they would consider that possibly their most tragic moment would be posted for the world to hear. The death of this man was tragic and hearing it on a recording seems to wrong. My prayers to those involved.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Seriously? Come On.

Steven Major: I'm shocked that you would question whether to call 9-1-1 and that you have put vanity over emergency. People can choose to listen or not, but to refrain from calling first responders at a time when needed is a really negative message.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Seriously? Come On.

Steven Major -- NEVER think twice about calling 9-1-1. I'm surprised you've put vanity over emergency. Your message isn't a good one. 9-1-1- responders are amazing at their jobs. It's up to people reading and listening to the news to decide if they want to hear a call or not, but that should not be a warning to NOT call 919-1-1. Silly.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Dorisa Green

My goodness you people on here are never satisfied!! Give more info/don't give more info, you cant have it both ways. 911 call and most police info is available to the public. I think you should be happy to see how well your tax dollars are working with the well trained 911 dispatchers!!! and for you people that have the bad taste to question them? well you could not do half the job they do. be thankful they will take care of you no matter what you say about them.
Good work you guys, Keep it up


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: fyi ...

just so that you all aren't going off on the Police... Distpatch calls are included in the public information act. Once it is not a threat to the investigation they are legally required to release the tapes as a part of public information. . . It was the courier's decision to add that to the news... So if you are upset that the call has been released via the news don't blame the police it's public information... I also think it lacks tact to put the call on here, however their job is to inform the public-- maybe next time just describe in words the call like. . . 911 tapes reveal that the men were knowledgeable in first aid and did their best with the aid of the dispatcher. . .

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: LEO Experience

Sorry, but the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has taken away nearly all discretion from police agencies on what should be released to the press and what should be kept private. The PVPD had no decision to make here. If the Courier wants it, they get, 99% of the time under FOIA. Nothing is protected anymore, not even this poor family's worst nightmare. I also agree, the dispatcher did an outstanding job.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Kyle G

My heart aches for this family and especially the little boy. I think the recording was interesting and provides insights the community would otherwise not have. I do not know how I would handle such a tragedy in my home, but I was impressed by how well James Williams informed the 911 dispatcher and remained calm.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Hasak

I agree that the dispatcher was excellent. As for releasing the 911 call, that was a decision by the PV Police.

Whether or not one agrees with publishing the call, anyone listening to it will receive a brief introduction to CPR, or a refresher. Other lives may be saved. Good can come out of the tragedy.

Note that for cardiac incidents, the American Heart Association released guidelines a couple of years back for hands-only CPR, which achieves superior results vs the traditional pump-and-breathe technique. Anyone interested should visit the AHA website.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Sad To hear

It's so sad to hear the 911 call. I am in the medical field. How come it took the dispatcher so long to tell the friend how to do CPR?
Guns, need to be out of reach and the lock on...
R.I.P., buddy!


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: Steven Major

Now, I should think twice before calling 911?... knowing the details of my tragedy will be for all to hear? The sounds of someone dieing is not for public consumption. The family of the deceased should sue the police department and the Courier.
Government out of control, they use drones to kill Americans overseas without due process. At home, they serve up the sounds of death. Stop the madness.


Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Article comment by: kEITH T.

Its too bad that the courier has decided to release the 911 tape. But what ever sells is all that matters to the courier, no matter who they hurt. The dispatcher did a wonder full job.



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