The 911 call made by the sheriff’s deputy that shot and killed a Black man in North Carolina has been released. The city council has now requested that the U.S. Department of Justice get involved in the investigation.
Deputy Jeffrey Hash called 911 after he shot Jason Walker on Saturday, Jan. 8, in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The almost four-minute call records Hash as 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 dispatcher asked the deputy.
“Yes, he jumped on my car, please,” he responded.
When the dispatcher asked for his name, Hash said, “I am a lieutenant with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.”
Later in the call, the dispatcher asks Hash if he is near the victim, he replies, “I am. He’s gone. He’s gone, ma’am.”
“Is he breathing?” the dispatcher inquires. The deputy answered, “No, ma’am, he is not. He’s gone.”
Hash then asks for “units out ’cause there’s people gathering.”
During the call, the deputy tells the dispatcher that his vehicle is a red Ford F-150. He then states, “He shattered my windshield.”
Also heard on the call is an exchange that Hash had with a witness, Elizabeth Ricks, the woman who tried to assist Walker after he was shot. The call captures Hash telling her to leave the scene.
“Just keep moving, ma’am,” he says to Ricks.
She replies to him, “I’m a trauma nurse.”
To her qualifier, he says, “I’m a deputy sheriff. Come here. He jumped on my vehicle. I just had to shoot him.”
The dispatcher joins in the conversation and asks for clarity on what actually happened, to which Hash submitted his version.
“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,” Hash recalled. “I had my wife and my daughter in my vehicle.”
The dispatcher asked, “Did he have any weapons, sir?”
Hash said that Walker did not have a firearm, and again, asserted his version of the story, “He just tore my wipers off and started beating. … He busted my windshield.”
Turning her attention to the victim, who Hash had already said was not breathing, the dispatcher about how many people are present at the site of the crime.
“There’s tons of cars and people gathering around,” he stated.
The 911 call continued to pick up conversations from those who gathered around Walker’s body.
One key voice is Ricks, the trauma nurse Hash told to “keep moving.” Ricks can be heard saying that the man is still alive.
Hash finally asks for help, saying, “He has a light pulse right now. I need EMS now.”
The dispatcher asks where the man was shot, but neither Hash nor Ricks has the information. Hash reveals to the dispatcher, “I’m seeing blood on his side, ma’am.”
Ricks is heard trying to save him, notwithstanding Hash’s request for EMS’s arrival on the scene. The call records her in the background asking for a shirt or something to stop the bleeding.
Others in the background-repeat the dispatcher’s questions about where Walker was shot, but Hash continues to say that he doesn’t know and repeats his version of what happened, “He was on the front of my vehicle. He jumped on my car.”
Ricks snaps, “I don’t care about that, where is the entry point?”
Hash responded to her and says to the dispatcher, who tells him to stop talking to the people on the scene, “People are hostile right now.”
Hash’s “hostile” comment was captured on the two-minute cellphone video of the aftermath of the shooting, recorded by Chase Sorrell, Ricks’ boyfriend.
Ricks and Sorrell are key witnesses to the fatal shooting.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that the two say they were driving about two car lengths behind Hash when the nurse saw Walker standing on the side of the road.
Ricks maintains that Walker waited for one car to go by before he started to cross the street. That is when Hash’s truck came by and struck the 37-year-old Black man, and Hash got out the car and shot the man four times, the nurse says. After that, she got out of her car to attempt to save his life as he lay dying next to the back wheels of the Ford pickup truck.
Ricks’ account of Walker being hit by a car contradicts police claims released earlier this week.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said on Sunday, Jan. 9, the pickup truck had a “black box” that would have registered if the vehicle struck “any person or thing.” She also added that one eyewitness said to her office that Walker was not hit by the truck.
The Fayetteville newspaper reports that Ricks says she gave a witness statement to police at the scene of the shooting.
Since the shooting, Hash has acquired representation. Parrish Daughtry, his lawyer, shared on Tuesday that her client was “devastated” about the incident.
She said, “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.”
Walker’s family also acquired the services of a lawyer. Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney that has represented victims in many high-profile cases such as those of George Floyd and Trayvon Martin, will represent the interests of the family of the deceased.
His office released the following statement, “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 SBI for a swift and transparent investigation so that we can get justice for Jason and his loved ones.”
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is solely handling the investigation around Walker’s death. The Fayetteville City Council voted unanimously during its first regular session meeting on Monday, Jan. 10, to invite the U.S. Department of Justice to assist in this case.
More news from our partners: