911 call during Wilmington hostage situation: Hurry or 'someone will die'




  • In US
  • 2021-12-02 14:14:26Z
  • By Star News
Dispatch records reveal further details about a neighbor who broke into a woman
Dispatch records reveal further details about a neighbor who broke into a woman's home and held a child at knife point before he was shot by police.  

Details from a hostage situation in Wilmington via 911 call reveal the man threatening to cut a child's throat was a neighbor who had broken into the home.

The caller, who reported the incident, originally called 911 to report a burglary in progress as someone was attempting to break into the individual's home at 977 Bozeman Road on Nov. 14. The caller said her neighbor was "going crazy" and entered her home.

The 911 operator who took the call reported in a computer aided dispatch report obtained by the StarNews the caller was crying and not answering the operator's questions, and said "screaming and yelling and crying" could be heard. The caller told the operator first responders needed to hurry or "someone will die."

The caller went on to say the man had taken her grandchild, later identified by police as a nine-year-old girl, and was holding her at knife point. When police arrived, they found the man standing on the front step of the house holding a knife to the child's throat and another adult male on the scene with multiple stab wounds. A woman told them he "killed her baby," according to the dispatch report, and police advised they would need help from a negotiator.

The man holding the child at knife point was later identified by police as Henry Timberlake Duncan, 43. It's still unclear his relationship to the child.

Duncan barricaded himself inside the house with the child, where police believed he may have a firearm. Police reported they could see him sitting on a couch through the window and requested other officers arriving to the scene not to use their flashlights or sirens. Officers reported the child was bleeding and crying, though it was unclear the extent of her injuries, and Duncan told police if they came any closer he would further injure the child.

Related coverage: State identifies New Hanover deputies involved in shooting after kidnapping, man killed

Initial report: Man killed by officer after kidnapping child, holding her at knifepoint

A couple minutes later, officers saw Duncan get up and begin moving around inside the home. One said they needed to get inside and there was "blood everywhere." The man and child could both be heard screaming.

Around 30 minutes later, police were able to access an open window. Duncan appeared to be on the phone with the negotiator. As they prepared to enter the home, they confirmed the child was not in sight and would not be in the line of fire if officers discharged their weapons. Duncan was again sitting on a couch.

Police entered the home around an hour and a half after arriving on the scene. They confirmed they could hear the child, though she appeared to be in distress, and they could also hear a baby.

Duncan died from two gunshots to the head fired by police. The child had a laceration on her neck and was transported to the hospital, and the man found with multiple stab wounds was also transported to the hospital. Police later reported the child was stable in the hospital following the incident but would require further surgeries.

The State Bureau of Investigation identified the two officers who fired their weapons as J. Cranford, 35, and T. Spell, 30. Human resources records provided to the StarNews by the New Hanover Sheriff's Office showed Cranford, a detective, has worked for the department since January 2009 and makes $28.84 an hour, and Spell, a deputy, has worked for the department since November 2019 making $22.70 an hour. The officer involved shooting is being investigated by the North Carolina SBI.

Reporter Sydney Hoover can be reached at 910-343-2339 or shoover@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: 911 records reveal more details in November Wilmington hostage situation

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