Analysis of fatal Raleigh tow truck shooting 911 recording reveals new details

Taurean Whitfield Sutton in a photo used with permission.


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — An enhanced review of a 911 call made by a tow truck driver accused of shooting and killing a 30-year-old man in April provides some new details about what took place.

On April 14, police said Taureen Sutton jumped into the cab of a tow truck on St. Giles Street.

He was upset about his vehicle being towed. Police say 30-year-old Sutton mistakenly thought the driver he was confronting had towed his vehicle, though he had not.

The tow truck driver’s name has not been released.

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As an argument between Sutton and the driver ensued, the driver called 911. He never spoke to the dispatcher, but 911 recorded the dispute.

The original nine-and-a-half-minute recording is muffled, but CBS North Carolina enhanced the tape.

Much of the audio remains difficult to understand, but more portions are now able to be understood.

At 29 seconds into the tape, someone can be heard saying, “I’ll smack the (expletive) out of you.”

As the argument continues, a person says, “I’m just trying to help. Just trying to help.”

At two minutes into the tape, someone says, “I’m going to call the police.”

And at 3:44 into the recording, there are what sound like multiple gunshots.

After the shooting, the driver ran from his truck and called 911 a second time using a stranger’s phone.

“I was on the phone with 911 earlier,” he can be heard saying. “It was on a recording so someone could hear what was going on. I was attacked inside the tow truck. I had no other choice but to do it. I had to pull out my firearm and fired several shots.”

The district attorney is still trying to decide what do with the case. The district attorney’s office has completed most of their investigation and have asked for some follow-up info. Once they have the additional information, they’ll review all the information they’ve gathered and decided what they’ll do next with regard to charges, if any.

RELATED: No charges in fatal Raleigh tow truck shooting, police say

Several days after the shooting Raleigh police said they would not be filing charges against the tow truck driver at that time, but they said the final determination is up to the district attorney.

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