TRINITY, Ala. (WHNT) - This weekend we brought you a heartbreaking story from Morgan County. A Trinity man shot and wounded his wife Sunday before taking his own life.
This tragedy unfolded while the couple's two children were in the home. A 5-year-old saw the whole thing, and his 15-year-old sister called 911.
WHNT News 19 has obtained the transcript from that call, and it provides a lot of insight from a dispatcher's perspective
Dispatcher Twyla Sloan recalls the moment she heard something shocking on the other end of the line.
"My dad just shot my mom."
The voice on the other end was a 15-year-old girl, scared and crying.
Dispatchers work behind the scenes to get help to those who need it, and last weekend, they were the first people to know about what happened to this family. The tragic family drama played out live, with Twyla on the phone.
"He shot again, he shot again," the girl said.
Twyla talked with us about how she tried to keep the girl safe.
"Stay out of the house, stay out of the house, baby. Okay?" she said to the child.
For dispatchers, it's a delicate balance between emotion and urgency.
Pushing away fear for the family, Sloan and her co-workers worked as a team to guide first responders to the scene while getting information they needed.
"[We needed more about] what the situation was, where everybody was in the house, and most important, where the gun is," said Sloan.
When emotions run high in active shooter situations, especially when children are involved, she says the most important thing is to calm them down, she said. There was an opportunity to do that when dispatchers received a call from the victim, the child's wounded mother.
"Your momma is on the phone with us... she wants you to stay safe. Keep it together for me another minute, okay?" Sloan said to the child on the line.
After it was all over and police and medics cleared the scene, this conversation stayed with dispatchers, including Sloan.
"I have thought of that little girl," said Sloan. "It affects you."
She said 911 dispatching is a passion, and something she loves to do. "This is what I can do to help," she added.
We have posted the full transcript with some names omitted for privacy reasons. We warn you it is a tough read in some places, but it's a chance to shine a light on the everyday heroes at local 911 centers.