911 dispatcher honored for response to teen's plea for help

Nori Kelly

Credit: WFAA

Emergency call dispatcher Nori Kelly was recognized on October 7, 2013 for the way she handled a 911 call from a frightened teenager in DeSoto who had been shot in a domestic violence rampage in August that left four people dead.

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by JANET ST. JAMES and REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 7 at 6:03 PM

DALLAS — Emergency call center dispatcher Nori Kelly said she will never forget the call she took on the night of August 7.

911 CALL: "I'm in here with my little nephew, my brother and my sister. I'm losing breath; I can't breathe; I can't feel my legs."

"He said he'd been shot,” Kelly recalled. "He said he was in the closet. He told me exactly where he was in the house, even the color of the room, and that he was in a closet with his brothers and sister."

Former Dallas ManiAAC dancer Erbie Bowser is charged with killing four and seriously injuring four others — including the 13-year old boy who made that 911 call — in that domestic violence rampage. The assault took place at two homes: One in Dallas, the other in DeSoto.

It was Kelly's calm response that got help on the way to a closet full of scared children inside the DeSoto home.

Kelly was honored at the Texas 911 Heroes Awards Ceremony and spoke for the first time about taking that call.

"It was horrifying,” she said. "It was sad that someone, an adult that people looked up to could get to that point where he could shoot children... defenseless children. It still bothers me."

Kelly wanted to shift focus away from the award, saying instead she hopes hearing what a real emergency sounds like will stop those from calling about barking dogs and bad directions.

Those unnecessary calls take 911 operators away from children and others who need help in emergencies that matter.

"A woman and child may be getting hurt; a man may be getting robbed," says Kelly, “We’re trying to help people understand what 911 is for."

Dallas residents can dial 311 to request help for non-emergency issues, 24 hours a day.

Erbie Bowser remains jailed. A grand jury hasn't yet met to consider the case, so he has not yet been indicted for the August murders.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com and rlopez@wfaa.com

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