Police, Dispatcher Investigated Over Homicide Response Mix-Up

By Ilana Gold
|  Friday, Aug 16, 2013  |  Updated 4:06 PM EDT
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Police, Dispatcher Investigated Over Homicide Response Mix-Up

NBCConnecticut.com

A man's body was found on Linnmoore Street in Hartford this morning.

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On Monday night, residents in the area of Linnmoore and Mountain streets in Hartford called police to report gunshots, but the body was not found until the next morning.

Police are now investigating whether police missed the body and the city of Hartford is investigating because the dispatcher first sent officers to the wrong address -- one almost a mile away from the actual crime scene.

Around 10:30 p.m., several neighbors made 911 calls to report a shooting in the 300 block of Linnwood, but the dispatcher sent police to an address in the 30s on Linnmoore Street.

This is the transcript from a call made at 10:30 p.m.

Dispatcher: Hartford 911
Caller: There was a shooting on my street, on Linnmoore Street
Dispatcher: Linnmoore right now?
Caller: Yeah. Yes. Right now
Dispatcher: What number?
Caller: Don't know. I live at (address in 300 block) It might be a little more up

In another call, you can hear a dispatcher hang up on a neighbor in frustration.

Dispatcher: OK, your name? Ma'am
Caller: My name doesn't matter. I don't want to get my name involved
Dispatcher: OK, fine. Goodbye (Followed by a hang up)

When sending police to the scene, the dispatcher sent them almost a mile away from the scene, in the 30s.

When police can't find anything, the dispatcher told them about another report from a corner house.

Dispatcher: She's at (300 block) of Linnmoore
Officer: OK, that's a big difference

Police finally responded to the correct address, but claimed nothing was going on.

The next morning, neighbors woke up and discovered a man’s body in the yard in the 300 block of Linnmoore. He had been shot to death.

One person who called 911 said police were there the night before for about an hour.

"I called last night because there were gunshots fired in our neighborhood ... and there were police right here combing the street and meanwhile not 20 feet away, there was a man dying in my neighbor's yard. There's a dead body right next to my house," one 911 caller said.

The victim has been identified as Valentine Santos, 21, of Vernon, and he died from gunshot wounds to the torso and extremities, according to the medical examiner's office.

The police department is investigating whether police made a mistake and the City of Hartford is looking into the mistake by the civilian dispatcher.

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