Parents of New Year’s Eve shooting victim hire attorney, question emergency response

“They attempted to call emergency services, they were not able to get through to them, there’s a failure,” said attorney Maurico Celis.

The parents of the young girl who was killed after she was hit by gunfire as the new year began have hired a local attorney to look into the tragedy.

The parents of 11 year old Amethyst Silva joined their attorney Mauricio Celis Friday as they outlined what they claim to be additional factors that might have contributed to the young girl’s death.

Two men have already been arrested on deadly conduct charges after they were found to have illegally fired their weapons in the direction of several homes.

However, the family’s attorney says when they called 911, they did not get through and they ended up driving her to the hospital.

“If we had known we were having emergency come I wouldn’t  have transported my daughter,” said Robert Silva, the girl’s father.

Attorney Maurico Celis discussed that unsuccessful attempt to get through to 911 during a press briefing.

“After that they attempted to call emergency services they were not able to get through to them, there’s a failure like I’ve told my clients, because of software, hardware, or personnel I intend to get to the bottom of that,” said Celis.

The Silva family reportedly put their daughter in a car, first heading to the closest fire station in an attempt to find help before driving her to the hospital where she later died.

“Time is of the essence, and it’s essential to have emergency services immediately,” said Celis.

In the days that followed the incident, CCPD disputed the unanswered call by releasing a timeline of their response saying officers were on the scene within 2 minutes.

In a release, CCPD outlined the following: 

· At 11:59:56 p.m., our 911 system received a call from the victim’s mother. A 911 Operator answered the call, noting there was silence, and the caller disconnected the phone.

· At 12:00:27 a.m., a 911 dispatcher called back on what was considered an incomplete 911 call, noting that the call went directly to voicemail.

· At 12:01:35 a.m., our 911 system received a call from a third party who advised that a juvenile had been shot. The caller immediately advised the caller-taker that Officers were on scene and disconnected the call.

We want to clarify that our officers were on the scene within less than 2 minutes of the shooting. Unfortunately, the parents had left the scene before officers could make contact. We want to reiterate that this is no fault of the family, they were making every effort to receive life-saving measures for their loved one.

Upon the arrival of officers on scene, they were notified by neighbors that the family had self-transported the victim to a local hospital but did not have specifics on their destination. Additional Patrol Officers went to each of our local hospitals to locate the victim. A series of unfortunate events delayed the family’s arrival at the hospital. Still, upon their arrival, they were met by officers who removed the victim from the vehicle and carried her into the hospital for medical care.

We have heard the concerns about calls being made to 911 going unanswered. We want to clarify that the emergency calls are being answered. 911 does not disconnect calls; the phone will continue to ring until a connection is made. If the caller abandons the call, a 911 call-taker will return the phone call.

“I think the facts will come out, thoroughly investigate the facts, if he (Chief Markle) believes nothing went wrong then we’ll figure that out, as it stands right now I don’t agree with the chief, I don’t.  If he has the evidence to show that, have him come forward that nothing went wrong,” said Celis.

The 911 call is not the only claim the family’s attorney said he is looking into.

“Mr Silva was held under detention,” said Celis.

“So I said okay, can I get across the building please, said no, he gets on his phone and proceeds to drive me around the block, on a joy ride, while my daughter is dying across the street,” said Silva.

At this point Celis said that it would be premature to say if they plan to file a lawsuit.

He wants to look at all the facts first.

CCPD was unable to provide a response to the claims made during Friday’s press conference.

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