911 calls shed light on deadly Farmington police shooting
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Newly-released 911 calls in a gut-wrenching shooting are shedding light on what a teen girl went through the night her father was shot and killed by Farmington police after they showed up at the wrong house.
The calls lay out the chaos and confusion between police, dispatchers, and the Dotson family.
One of them involves a 14-year-old girl calling police for help. The call shows the child knows someone shot her dad, but she doesn’t know if he’s OK.
“Take a breath to tell me what happened.”
“I hear banging, and I hear gunshots downstairs. There were gunshots in the house and my dad is shot.”
That was Robert Dotson’s 14-year-old daughter frantically calling 911, after Farmington police shot and killed her father.
“I need you guys to just stay inside your home.”
“What house number are you calling from?”
“5305 Valley View Ave.”
This all started with a domestic violence call made just minutes earlier at 5308 Valley View. It was almost midnight on April 5.
The alleged domestic violence victim gave her address – her house is across the street from the Dotson home.
“5308 Valley View Farmington.”
Dispatchers kept the woman on the phone for five minutes while waiting for police to respond.
“I’ve got officers aware of the situation I need you to separate from each other. OK?”
But officers never got there.
“Is this not 5308? That’s what it said right there, right?”
We now know that’s because Farmington officers responded to the wrong house by accident.
“No, this is 5305, isn’t it?”
“Don’t tell me I’m wrong.”
Body cam video shows Dotson opening his front door holding a gun. That’s when police shot him.
“Hey, hands up!”
“Shots fired, shots fired.”
A short time later, Dotson’s wife fired shots from the front door, and officers shot back at her too, but she was not hurt.
While all that was unfolding downstairs, the Dotson’s 14-year-old daughter was listening upstairs, and relaying everything she heard to a 911 dispatcher.
“My mom was screaming, and she was saying like, ‘Oh my god,’ screaming, ‘oh my god,’ and I don’t know if my dad’s OK.”
“OK, is she involved, do you know?”
“No, no, no, she would not be involved.”
“Your dad would not be involved either, correct.”
“No, no, no. no.”
“Is everyone safe inside your home?”
“I don’t know. Me and my brother are upstairs.”
She then told the dispatcher someone shot at her father.
“My dad, my dad’s shot. Someone shot at my father, definitely, I heard banging.”
Shortly before disconnecting – while more police arrived on scene – she asked the woman on the other end of the line to pray with her.
“Can you pray with me?”
“Go ahead, I’m listening.”
“Heavenly Father…OK, OK.”
Dotson’s wife has not been charged with a crime.
The victim’s family recently asked federal prosecutors to bring charges against the officers involved. They’ve also announced plans to sue.
Farmington police reps said they are committed to cooperating with state police while they investigate the shooting.