Denver 911 Admits Fault In Man's Slaying

Police Asked Victim To Return To Scene Of Altercation

Denver 911 has admitted one of its operators did not follow protocol when they asked a man to return to the scene of an altercation to talk to police and was then killed in a drive-by shooting.

The operator has been put on leave while an investigation into the shooting is completed.

Family told 7NEWS the victim is Jimma Reat, a refugee from Sudan.

Police say Reat was driving with three other people early Sunday morning when people in a red Jeep began throwing bottles and debris at their car, breaking a window.

The operator who took the call told the victims to return to Denver and wait for officers to arrive, said Denver Police Spokeswoman Raquel Lopez.

Ran Pal, the Reat's cousin, said he was driving the car and was the one who called 911.

"I told them I don't really want to go back on that side because that's where everything happened," said Pal. "I said 'I’m here at home this is where I feel safe so please send somebody.' He said, 'No. If you don't go back that way, we won't be able to send anybody, and it's going to be your loss we won't be able to file a police report."

Ral said he gave in and drove in the direction police told him.

The car, with four people inside, returned to West 29th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard and stopped to wait for police.

As the people were standing outside the parked car, the red Jeep, carrying about four men, drove by and opened fire on them, shooting Reat in the back, police said.

The Jeep then sped away from the scene.

Reat was taken to Denver Health Medical Center where he died shortly after 5 a.m., Capt. Ron Saunier said.

Monday, 911 Executive Director Carl Simpson apologized saying, “We are deeply saddened about the events that transpired.”

Simpson said the dispatcher should have worked with Wheat Ridge police and have them meet Reat.

“The call transpired very quickly and it just got sideways very quickly and I will tell you we didn't do our best work that night,” Simpson said.

In violent incidents people typically are not asked to return to the Denver area, because police can travel to meet them outside the city, said Ernie Franssen, the Denver 911 operations manager.

Communications officials are reviewing recordings of the 911 calls to determine why dispatchers asked the victims to come back into Denver, Franssen said. He said they want to make sure department policies and procedures were followed.

"We’re absolutely apologetic for the circumstances of the call," said Franssen. "We want to give due diligence to the employee and make sure that we did or didn’t follow the policies as they are written, and we want to take a look and listen to it ourselves and be able to speak to the employee."

Print this article Back to Top