Whatever You Do, Don’t Listen to the Dispatcher


By Kellene Bishop


Sorry folks.  But when you call 9-1-1, you may not be speaking to the sharpest knife in the drawer. 


Late Friday evening, a man and his wife in Botetourt County, VA were understandably scared when a violent man was beating on their door, hollering threats and words like “1969” and “Vietnam.”  The owner of the home, Jody Hoover, did the reasonable thing he could. After unsuccessfully trying to plead with the man through the door to go away, he called 9-1-1, and then as the threat escalated, he got his shotgun while handing the 9-1-1 phone call to his wife.  After over 10 minutes of persistence, the intruder did indeed break through the door in spite of repeated pleas from Hoover not to do so—at the peril of his own life. However, the intruder, Jerry Lee Jones, Jr, failed to heed the warning, ostensibly due to an alcohol level over 4 times the legal limit.  Jones violently broke through the door.  Concerned primarily for the well-being of his family (including his mother-in-law and two sons), Hoover shot the intruder with his double-barreled 12-guage shotgun.  But here’s where this story gets ridiculous.  You can listen to the 9-1-1 call here.


Jones breaks through the sliding glass door by hurling a wrought iron patio chair though it.

Hoover shoots twice.

Jones is on the deck, still moving.

It’s dark.

Mrs. Hoover informs the dispatcher that Jones has been shot by her husband and that he’s still moving.

The dispatcher responds by telling the frightened woman to tell her husband to put down the gun.


HELL-LO!  Jones is still moving.  It’s dark.  He has already demonstrated to have no rational behavior.  He’s already demonstrated himself to be a relentless criminal.  And this dispatcher wants you to put down the gun?!  Really?!  Do you know whether or not he has a gun on his person and his moving is an attempt to GET such a gun?  The caller can’t even see clearly and there’s no indication that she conveyed suitable information to the dispatcher in this regard.  How in the world can this dispatcher issue such instructions rationally?  And the worst part is the dispatcher backs up her assertion with the ignorant logic that “if he’s been shot he’s not getting back up.”  Again, really?!  Does the dispatcher miraculously know where on his body Jones was shot?  And if he was shot so effectively, then why is he still moving? Does he need to actually “get back up” in order to still pull a gun and shoot Mr. Hoover or the police?  Are you kidding me?  Is this the kind of downright stupid logic our law enforcement agencies are taught to spew to the citizens?


Now, understandably the police are on the scene, or at least near it, by this time.  We certainly don’t want them to be shot or Hoover for that matter, in any acts of confusion.  But telling Hoover to put down the gun because the man won’t be getting back up is an act of malpractice in my not-so humble opinion.  The dispatcher should have consulted with the officers who were on site as to how to consult the Hoovers with consideration that it was dark and the perpetrator was still moving.  If indeed the officers were on site and capable of handling the situation, she should have informed the Hoovers that the police were on location and that as such they needed to retreat back to the bedroom with the rest of the family, (backing away while facing the body of Jones) and stay secure while the police handled the situation until they were given an “all clear” from the police. THAT would have been logical.


Now, let’s address some of the other nonsense that has come from this story.  There are a whole lot of comments on the original news site that released this story.  One of which was a person complaining that “death” was involved as a result of the self-defense shooting.  Hoover’s motive was questioned as to why he didn’t just maim the man in the knee.  That, my friends, is how citizens defending themselves get killed.  If a man is maimed in the knee, does he get interrupted in his actions?  MAYBE.  Are you willing to bet your life on a “maybe”?  Do you know whether or not an assailant has a gun, or a knife, or an explosive device?  Do you know whether or not the assailant possesses the mental capacity to take your life?  No.  But here’s what you do know.  The use of alcohol and drugs are rampant in our nation and their use is associated with over half of all crimes in the U.S.  Couple this with the fact that such substances numb the senses and logic.  Now you add to the mix the fact that armed crimes are becoming common place, and you now have a recipe which gives you EVERY REASON not be fool-hearty thinking that you can simply maim an assailant and thus guarantee your safety.  In today’s world of advance criminal intent and preparation, EVERY self-defense shooting should result in the perpetrator to STOP, folks.  You don’t shoot to maim, confuse, intimidate, cajole, or scare.  You’ll only open yourselves up for a slam-dunk civil suit with that attitude.  I guarantee it.  You shoot to protect.  And the only way you can be assured that you have done so is if you shoot with the intent to STOP.  Yes, I’m well aware that may take some mental preparation on your part to handle, ad you MUST address that and train your mind accordingly for such situations. 


Even in this instance there’s merit to my belief that you should always presume a greater danger than what you can readily see.  In 1999 and 2005, Jones was found guilty in Botetourt County of brandishing a firearm.  Point made.


You have every right to protect your person, your family, and your property—especially your home when you are in it.  Take this right seriously, as well as the measures you have chosen to execute those rights.


Shoot to STOP, not to maim.  Then you don’t have to worry about a deranged dispatcher.

Copyright 2009 Kellene Bishop. All rights reserved.

You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Kellene Bishop.  


9 Responses

  1. As a former law enforcement firearms instructor and officer safety trainer, I would love to read the statistics that the dispatcher was using when she stated, “he’s been shot, he will not get up”. You always assume they are not completely incapacitated and hold down on them until they are pronounced dead or in handcuffs. When the officers arrive, they will draw down on you. Fine. Follow their instructions, and prone out if told. Let them do their job. This dispatcher could have hurt someone severely with that instruction.

  2. Thanks for your expert opinion in this matter, Brett.

  3. I heard the tape on FOX News last night… and i couldnt believe what i was hearing coming from the dispatcher…

    like you i was totally aghast that any dispatcher would do something like that…

  4. And there are those that believe when you call 911 Police or Fire or EMS magically appear. (Most of the dispatchers I have worked with have been a bit okay a lot brighter then this one!) These would be the same people whom think Obama will save us all after he TRIES to take our guns!!

  5. An additional concern is that “shooting to wound” opens you up to legal liability, both criminally and civily.

    You’re now stuck explaining why, if you felt your life was threatened to the point that you had to use deadly force, you consciously chose to shoot the attacker somewhere that wouldn’t kill him.

    The implication that will be made is that since you shot to wound rather than incapacitate, the threat really wasn’t grave enough to justify use of deadly force.

    It likely won’t matter much criminally, but stuff like shooting to wound will certainly be used against you should you be sued in civil court by the criminal / criminals family (which can happen in my home state of DE)

    • If you EVER state that you “shot to wound”, when communicating with a law enforcement officer, you might as well write out the check for a civil lawsuit as well. As the intent to wound is assault, and depending on how you do it can also be “torture” as well.

  6. First off, hope someone answer’s the call. I needed 911 a few weeks ago, and nobody answered.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: