NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The family of a woman who died by domestic violence has accused Metro police of “deeply disturbing negligence” that resulted in her death.
On Thursday, the attorney for Michaela Carter’s family released the 911 call where you can hear her plead for police to come back to her parent’s home after they reportedly left. Then, you can hear the gunfire that resulted in her death.
Metro police responded to the Antioch home on Nov. 15, 2021. According to police, Carter suffered wounds to her chest and leg. She died at the hospital days later. The investigation showed that her ex-boyfriend, James Leggett, kicked in the door of the home and opened fire. Carter’s father suffered non-critical wounds to his jaw and hand.
News 2 has chosen not to air that moment, but the attorney says he is horrified by what he heard, including what he calls the dispatcher’s “shocking rudeness.”
Dispatch: “911, what’s the location of your emergency?”
Carter: “He’s here, he’s here. 608 Vanna Court.”
The call starts as any other, but quickly, you can hear Carter’s voice as she immediately notifies dispatch that her ex is outside of her parent’s home. It’s the moment that would lead up to the deadly shooting.
Carter’s mother: “As soon as they pulled off, he walked up and he’s beating on the door now.”
Carter’s mother: “And he has a gun. There is an order of protection, they already verified it.”
At the beginning of the phone call, Carter and her mother can be heard trying to explain to dispatch that Carter’s ex was outside the door with a gun.
Throughout the call, you can hear Carter’s mother explaining the situation to the dispatcher. Family involvement is something Mary Katherine Rand sees often as the Executive Director of The Mary Parrish Center.
“Family and friends try to stay by the survivor’s side to really support them, and so oftentimes, they are unfortunately made part of it,” said Rand.
The Mary Parrish Center, created in 2009, was created after years of frustration in an attempt to help survivors find safe and affordable housing. Domestic violence cases rose in the last year, and Rand expects those numbers to maintain through the rest of this year.
Carter’s case has brought attention to the use of orders of protection. She and Leggett were married in 2020 but had since been separated at the time of the shooting.
Dispatch: “Has he ever tried to strangle or kill you in the past?”
Carter’s mother: “Yes, yes, we have an order of protection from him beating her up. This is her and her mom.”
Rand sat and listened to a portion of the 911 call, just before you could hear the gunshots.
Carter: “Can you just send somebody?”
Dispatch: “I have to ask these questions for police safety okay.”
Next, you can hear Leggett reportedly breaking in and starting to fire a gun.
“It’s just absolutely tragic, I mean it’s heartbreaking,” said Rand.
Carter’s family is now suing MNPD after they claim police “failed to take the order of protection that Ms. Carter had seriously and then abandoned her during her time of need.”
News 2 reached out to MNPD for comment and was told the department does not comment on pending litigation.
Leggett was charged on the night of Nov. 15, 2021, with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated stalking, aggravated burglary and unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon. He is set to appear in criminal court on Jan. 19.