911 calls capture confusion of shooting rampage
by Jessica Loeding
Aug 16, 2014 | 3278 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eighteen audio tracks from Bartow County E911 released Friday paint a picture of the chaos created by Austin Tyler’s 15-minute rampage that left one dead and three wounded before he took his own life.

The first caller to 911 tells the dispatcher they think they saw someone get shot and the suspect had fled in a white Chevrolet pickup labeled with a landscaping company’s logo on the side.

“There’s a dude laying in front of his porch,” the caller said. “… There’s a guy dead and another guy wounded.”

“I’m freaking out pretty bad,” the caller continued. “There’s another one hit in the house as well. I’m hoping this guy don’t come back.”

That initial call lasts 14 minutes, with the caller reporting hearing law enforcement approaching just more than 10 minutes in.

“I know you’re freaking out, but you did a really, really good job, OK?” the dispatcher said once help had arrived.

The second call came from witnesses inside the 15 Brent Circle residence where Tyler opened fire, killing 64-year-old Royce Hobgood and severely wounding two other men that police are not identifying.

“I don’t know what happened. I was sitting in the living room doing homework with my stepson. I don’t know. I just heard gunshots. There are people that were working on my house,” a frantic woman screams in the call.

The sound of yelling and sobbing can be heard in the background.

“We heard gunshots. One guy fell in the door. We looked out the window, another one on the front porch. We saw blood coming out his nose. We ran into the bedroom and shut the door,” she continued.

Within minutes, 911 begins receiving calls from victims in the area of Dobson Drive.

“He’s driving very erratic and he just pulled out a handgun and shot at me. I don’t know where he went,” says one caller.

“He is shooting everybody ... He’s going all up Dobson Drive, around Milam Circle. He has a gun and he’s shooting. … People are running for their lives,” states another.

In all, Bartow County Sheriff’s Office investigators say, Tyler fired shots at 12 different people, including the victims, in a 12- to 15-minute time frame from a .9mm handgun stolen from a vehicle in Euharlee.

BCSO Investigator Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said Friday that authorities have spoken with “a lot” of the witnesses, and according to a press release, it is believed the incident started after an argument between Tyler and one of the victims on Brent Circle.

The 20-year-old former Woodland High School student opened fire about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Brent Circle residence before traveling to Milam Bridge Road where a gunshot grazed the hand of an 18-year-old male. Tyler then carjacked a man and his grandson on River Oaks Drive, taking the driver’s silver Ford Sport Trac.

Tyler fled on Euharlee Road, encountering responding law enforcement officers at the intersection of Euharlee Road and Highway 113. He led police on a short chase east on Highway 113 before striking a landscape trailer, causing it to explode. Tyler shot himself in the head prior to or after striking the trailer and was pronounced dead at Cartersville Medical Center.

Tyler had one previous arrest — for criminal trespass under the Family Violence Act.