Whitfield Co. 911 call goes to Murray Co. - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Whitfield Co. 911 call goes to Murray Co.

By Megan Boatwright

Eyewitness News Reporter

WHITFIELD COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) --  Monday Channel 3 followed up on Thursday's triple homicide in Dalton.  Trouble brewed in the home on Rainbow Circle hours before a deadly rampage that ended with three men dead. 

A 911 call was made, so why didn't police check it out?

The shooting happened in Dawnville in the eastern portion of the county, investigators say David Hartline went to his ex-girlfriend, Mindy Bullard's home. Bullard was having a birthday party for her child, and Hartline killed Bullard's father and ex-husband.

Hartline, who's a convicted sex offender, was also shot and killed.  Investigators now say Bullard's father is the one who likely pulled the trigger.

Murray County dispatchers say Mindy Bullard called 911 from her cell phone hours before the gunfight.  They alerted Whitfield County Dispatch, but police were never sent to Rainbow Circle.

In the 911 call, Mindy Bullard requests that an officer come to her home.  We wanted to know how the lines got crossed, and why police didn't arrived until after the shooting.

"I need the police at my house right now," says the voice of Mindy Bullard to a Murray County 911 Dispatcher. 

Those were the first words out of her mouth when she called police at 4:35 Thursday afternoon.

"I live on Rainbow Circle," Bullard continues.  "He's pulling out of the driveway.  He's been drinking.  He's in a Blue Chevy truck and he's pulling out of the driveway right now.  He's going through Dawnville." 

Bullard lives in Whitfield County, but right on the Murray County line.  The cell phone tower that took her call sent it to the Murray County Dispatch Center first.

"The operator for Murray County advised our operator that she needed to give her a 'lookout' or BOLO is what we refer to it as," says Jeff Owenby with the 911 Dispatch Center in Whitfield County. 

"A BOLO means 'to be on lookout'," says Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood. 

Chitwood says in Whitfield County a BOLO doesn't require officer response to a specific location. 

"We would just do a general patrol in that area to be on the lookout for that person or vehicle," says Chitwood. 

Murray County quickly relayed the information to Whitfield County and a BOLO was issued by Whitfield County deputies within minutes of Bullard's call, but remember those first words out of Mindy Bullard's mouth?

"I need the police at my house right now," says Bullard.

A Murray County dispatcher told Whitfield County that Hartline had left the home three minutes before they were alerted. In light of what happened later that evening the lingering question is, would police response have been different had the call gone to Whitfield County directly?



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