‘We have reason to believe that this was a case of ‘shoot first, ask later,’ a philosophy seen all too often within law enforcement,’ lawyer representing victim’s family says
Deputy Jeffrey Hash called 911 after he discharged his firearm on 8 January, shooting Mr Walker, who was Black
The call lasted almost four minutes and Mr Hash, who was off-duty at the time, can be heard saying, “I just had a male jump on my vehicle and broke my windshield. I just shot him. I am a deputy sheriff”.
“You said you shot him?” the emergency dispatcher asks.
“Yes, he jumped on my car, please,” Mr Hash, who is white, replies.
“I am a lieutenant with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office,” he adds after being asked for his name.
Moments later, the dispatcher asks Mr Hash if he’s near Mr Walker. “I am. He’s gone. He’s gone, ma’am.”
“Is he breathing?” the dispatcher asks.
“No, ma’am, he is not. He’s gone,” Mr Hash says. He then requested “units out ’cause there’s people gathering”.
Mr Hash added that Mr Walker “shattered” the “windshield” of his red Ford F-150.
The city council has requested that the US Department of Justice take part in the investigation, according to the Atlanta Black Star.
The officer can also be heard speaking to a witness on the call, nurse Elizabeth Ricks, who attempted to help Mr Walker following the shooting.
“Just keep moving, ma’am,” Mr Hash tells Ms Ricks, who says, “I’m a trauma nurse”.
“I’m a deputy sheriff. Come here. He jumped on my vehicle. I just had to shoot him,” Mr Hash says.
When asked what happened by the dispatcher, Mr Hash says: “I was driving down the road and he came flying across Bingham Drive, running, and then I stopped so I wouldn’t hit him and he jumped on my car and started screaming, pulled my windshield wipers off, and started beating my windshield and broke my windshield. I had my wife and my daughter in my vehicle.”
The dispatcher then asks if Mr Walker was armed.
“No, he just tore my wipers off and started beating the door, and busted my windshield,” Mr Hash says.
“There’s tons of cars and people gathering around,” he adds.
After Ms Ricks can be heard saying that Mr Walker is still alive, Mr Hash says, “He has a light pulse right now. I need EMS now.”
“I’m seeing blood on his side, ma’am,” he adds when asked where Mr Walker was shot.
Ms Ricks can be heard in the background of the call asking for cloth that can stop the bleeding as she tries to keep Mr Walker alive.
Others in the background of the call can be heard asking where he was shot, to which Mr Hash replies again with, “He was on the front of my vehicle. He jumped on my car”.
“I don’t care about that, where is the entry point?” Ms Ricks says, seemingly frustrated.
Mr Hash tells Ms Ricks that he doesn’t know where the wound is, and adds to the dispatcher that the people around him are “hostile”. The dispatcher tells Mr Hash not to engage them.
Mr Hash can be seen saying that people were “hostile” in a video filmed by Ms Ricks’ boyfriend, Chase Sorrell.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, Ms Ricks was driving behind Mr Hash when she spotted Mr Walker standing on the side of the road. She has said that Mr Walker waited for a car to pass before entering the roadway.
According to the nurse, Mr Hash then struck Mr Walker, 37. Mr Hash then allegedly exited his pickup truck and shot Mr Walker four times. Ms Ricks then got out of her car to attempt to save Mr Walker.
Police have pushed back on Ms Ricks’ claim that Mr Hash struck Mr Walker. Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said on Sunday that the truck had a “black box” that would have registered a collision with “any person or thing”. Ms Hawkins added that a witness told the department that Mr Walker was not hit by the truck.
But accident reconstruction expert Colin Wein told The Fayetteville Observer on Thursday that “in general, I have not seen an event being recorded for a vehicle impacting a pedestrian”.
Mr Hash’s lawyer, Parrish Daughtry, said on Tuesday: “Lt Hash is devastated for Mr Walker’s family, his own family, the greater community and devastated by these events. Beyond that, I’m really prohibited from discussing the facts.”
Ben Crump, the attorney who represented the families of George Floyd and Trayvon Martin, is now working on behalf of Mr Walker’s family.
“We have reason to believe that this was a case of ‘shoot first, ask later,’ a philosophy seen all too often within law enforcement. We look to the North Carolina [State Bureau of Investigation] for a swift and transparent investigation so that we can get justice for Jason and his loved ones,” Mr Crump’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.