Grief-stricken Memphis mom demands changes to 911 system - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Grief-stricken Memphis mom demands changes to 911 system

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The mother of a Memphis shooting victim is calling for changes to the city's 911 system after paramedics were sent to the wrong address.

Next week will be Beverly Walker's first Christmas without her only child.

"There will never be closure," she said Friday. "I miss him 24/7."

Ben Walker, 22, was shot to death last May during an attempted robbery in Frayser.  

"It was a nightmare," Beverly said."Of course, the worst moment of our lives."

Adding to that nightmare is a 911 system that Walker says failed her son.

"He was shot at 10:20. First 911 call went in at 10:22," she said.

In an audio recording of the initial call to 911, the caller tells the dispatcher where the shooting happened.

"They said Floyd and Terrace Drive.  A man has been shot.  He's lying on the ground," the caller can be heard saying.

But the dispatcher sent first responders to the wrong location.

"Police responding to a male that's been shot at in the chest Florida Street at Terminal Center Drive," the dispatcher says in the recording.

That intersection is in Whitehaven.  It was 23 minutes for someone to realize a mistake had been made, and a total of 47 minutes before Walker made it to the hospital.

"This was a catastrophic flaw, in my mind, of our 911 system," Walker said.

A flaw she hopes will prompt the entire community to demand change.

"Our city cannot allow this to go on," she said. "I guess in the end if justice is served that will help some, but the hole in my heart will stay there forever."

Walker doesn't plan to sue the city, but she had to hire an attorney after waiting four months to obtain the 911 tapes from the city of Memphis.

The Memphis City Attorney's office had not yet responded to our request for comment at the time this story was posted.

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