Shots Fired: Frantic father demands an apology after police failed to show up

Shots Fired: Frantic father demands an apology after police failed to show up

CREATED Jul 24, 2012

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- A father of three demanded an apology from Tucson Police -- and got one.

Before midnight on Saturday, the father, who wanted to remain anonymous, called 911 to report a hail of gunfire in front of his home  -- sounds that terrified his family.

"My wife and I screamed at the kids to get down on the floor. They did. They crawled in the back room and we immediately got on the phone and called 911and they said okay -- we'll send someone over there and don't go outside," he said.

He says he waited --- several hours.  His three children, ages 8, 10, and 12, refused to leave his side throughout the night as they continued to hide in his bedroom. Through the morning, there was still no word from police. Later that afternoon, he found the bullets and empty shells in front of his house.

He said he called TPD again, "wanting to know why they never showed up. Why are the bullets still here? I was upset." He was told that police did show up and searched the area and that a police officer would be by to pick up the bullets and empty shells. The father told KGUN9 that he was upset because he felt the police failed to assure his family that they were safe.

He said, "I asked him -- what if we were dead. What if after my 911 call someone broke in, started shooting at us, and they either killed us or we're lying bleeding."

He said he's also angry his children had to go through this terrifying ordeal.

He explained through tears, "And they're still going through it. They refuse to play in the living room. You know you think you can protect your kids and people protect you that are supposed to do their jobs and they're not."

So KGUN9 asked Tucson Police -- what happened? Lt. Fabian Pacheco told 9OYS that officers did show up 6 minutes after the first call.

"The officers checked the area and left. The problem is that's 50 percent of the job."

Pacheco said that after that first call, the officers should have knocked on the door to talk to the father and ask more questions about what happened. They failed to do that and it's the other half of their job. He said TPD is working with a younger police force and they'll be retrained.

KGUN9 asked Pacheco if the family deserves an apology. Pacheco answered,  "Absolutely, the family deserves an apology. We're not sugarcoating this. We're not saying it's not our fault. There are things we should have done better."

KGUN 9 confirmed with the father that he did receive a call from Lt. Pacheco, who apologized on behalf of the Tucson Police Department.