Durham 911 calls differ on medical help for Duke divinity student in shooting

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Two of three 911 calls Durham’s Emergency Center sent to CBS 17 about a Duke University student’s shooting contradict each other about immediate medical help. 

The calls came in Saturday, March 9, moments after Ryan Ware was shot in a Costco parking lot. 

“Do not move him, help is already on the way,” one operator said. 

The caller replies to other witnesses, “Do not move him, she said. Do not move him.”

However, during another call, happening at the same time, a different operator tells another witness to move Ware, who is a divinity student.

“Hold on just one second,” the second operator said during the call. “I just told them to roll him over because they don’t know where he’s shot … Because they don’t know where he’s shot and he’s laying face down in blood.” 

CBS 17 asked a paramedic how could a situation like that happen. 

“The phone calls are very much dynamic in nature,” said Michael Szymanski. 

He has been a paramedic for 25 years and said every call is different.

“You don’t know what information that the caller is giving, and the 911 operator maybe giving something out based on their caller so it’s a very dynamic situation,” he said. 

On average, it takes paramedics about 10 minutes to arrive at a scene. 

Szymanski said if a person happens to be a near shooting victim they should try finding where the bleeding is coming from, and then apply pressure. 

“Anytime you can slow or stop bleeding from major arteries and stuff like that is great – it helps us out tremendously,” he said. 

However, CBS 17 has learned a 911 operator could tell a bystander to leave the victim alone in some situations, usually when their safety is at risk. 

“If the shooter is still actively shooting, obviously you don’t want to become a victim yourself,” said Szymanski. “If everything is cleared out and there’s not a danger to yourself and you want to help, feel free to help, if you’re prepared to help, feel free to help.”

During those 911 calls, one caller told an operator they saw the suspect get into a car and leave the scene. 

Ware is currently in the hospital recovering from his injuries. No one has been charged in the shooting.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories