Police Release 911 Calls From Fatal Hartford Basketball Court Shooting

Police have released 911 calls that describe a chaotic scene as gunfire erupted at a Hartford community basketball tournament with more than 100 spectators, injuring three and killing one.

Roosevelt Holmes, 23, of Windsor, faces charges of criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge, and attempted first-degree assault in the shooting that killed a spectator James Headen, 41, of Hartford, and injured two others. Holmes was also wounded in the gunfire at the "All Xity Shootout," or "Heat on the Street" tournament, at Hartford's Rawson Elementary School on Saturday.

Two female callers told dispatchers they heard four shots fired.

"They're shooting at the park, at Rawson Park," a woman said frantically in one of the 911 calls.

A fourth female caller told the dispatcher she didn't see anything but heard a lot of shots and that "people might be down."

"I heard four shots and then everybody started running," the first female caller said. "Somebody is laying on the ground"

Screams were audible in the background and the woman told the dispatcher, who tried to calm her down, that she was scared inside her house after looking on at the scene from her driveway. You can hear her tell someone else to get away from the window.

A second female caller described chaos at the scene as she watched from her window and saw people running.

"Oh my God. These people is going crazy," the caller said, adding that her grandchildren's mother was at the basketball tournament at the time and she called her to make sure she was okay but they were still out there. "Please send somebody. They still running."

A third female caller told the 911 dispatcher she received a call from her cousin as she was about to drop her son off at the basketball tournament.

"And he just called me running and said don't drop my son off because people are down here," the third woman told the dispatcher, who quickly cut in to say there was a shooting and tell her the police were on the way.

Holmes, who was shot in the leg, hobbled into the courtroom on crutches Monday.

He is being held on $2 million bond. Holmes' attorney, Gerald Klein, said his client claims self-defense.

Holmes, who was watching the tournament Saturday, told police someone had just stolen his Cartier sunglasses and shot him while he was running away. He then returned fire, according to documents released in court Monday.

Three other men were shot and treated at the hospital. Headen later died there. Police described Headen as an innocent bystander and said he was shot in the head.

Another shooting victim, who asked not to be identified, called himself lucky in an exclusive interview with NBC Connecticut on Monday.

“When you think about it, if you get shot in the hand, you can get shot anywhere. So, yeah, I’m lucky, very lucky,” he said.

The victim said he heard the gunshots and originally thought he had been hurt falling down as chaos erupted at the tournament.

“I didn’t know I even got shot. I just, I just thought I maybe broke my arm or something,” the victim said.

Police were back at the school Monday searching for evidence.

They said it’s still unclear how many people opened fire and who is actually responsible for pulling the trigger at what was supposed to be a fun community event.

Contact Us