The mother of one of the victims in the deadly mass shooting at an Antioch Waffle House is suing Nashville, saying the city’s 911 operators made “multiple catastrophic errors” in the minutes after the shooting that contributed to her son’s death.
The eight-page complaint says dispatchers at the city’s Emergency Communications Center made mistakes that delayed the response time to the April 2018 shooting. Dispatchers initially sent first responders to the wrong Waffle House location that was more than eight miles away from the shooting.
Akilah DaSilva, 23, was one of four people killed when police say Travis Reinking opened fire on the Murfreesboro Pike restaurant with an AR-15 style rifle on April 22, 2018. DaSilva’s mother, Shaundelle Brooks, brought the $300,00 suit on Monday, the one-year anniversary of her son’s death.
Brooks’ attorney Daniel Horwitz argued that if 911 dispatchers had sent first responders to the right location more quickly, DaSilva would not have died.
“As a consequence of the delayed emergency response caused by the ECC’s gross negligence and extreme recklessness, Akilah DaSilva suffered extensive and preventable blood loss, contributing to his death,” the complaint stated. “If the ECC had not recklessly dispatched first responders to the wrong location, Mr. DaSilva would still be alive today.”
After the first 911 call came in at 3:24 a.m., a dispatcher sent police officers to a Waffle House on a different stretch of Murfreesboro Pike that was closer to downtown, according to a city report issued last year. The address for the Antioch Waffle House was not in the dispatcher’s computer directory.
By 3:27 a.m., an officer confirmed the other Waffle House was clear and officers were sent to the actual scene of the shooting. Officers arrived at the Antioch Waffle House at 3:32 a.m., according to the report.
“While Mayor Briley has eagerly trotted out the Waffle House victims for parades, press releases, and public appearances, privately, his Administration has refused to address or even acknowledge the ECC’s gross negligence during this unspeakable tragedy, which prevented Akilah DaSilva from reaching the hospital in time,” Horwitz wrote in a statement. “The DaSilva family did not want to file this lawsuit; instead, they hoped to protect the next family by ensuring that the same fatal errors never happen again.
“Unfortunately, given that Metro won’t even acknowledge that ECC employees negligently disregarded 911 callers’ GPS coordinates and sent first responders to the wrong location — much less take any measures to prevent such mistakes from recurring— the Briley Administration left them no choice.”
Jon Cooper, the city’s law director, declined to comment on the pending suit.
Brooks already has a wrongful death suit pending against Reinking, 30, and his father, Jeffrey Reinking, 55. Brooks’ first suit states Jeffrey Reinking’s decision to hand guns over to his son made him responsible for his son’s actions.