911 caller thought fatally wounded man had been hit by a car

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comMarch 17, 2014 

— A concerned motorist traveling in North Raleigh on Friday night called 911 after she saw a man lying in the road, just across the highway from Wake Technical Community College.

“Somebody has been hit I think, on Fox Road. He’s just laying in the road,” the 911 caller told an emergency dispatcher in the 911 recording made public Monday by the Raleigh Police Department.

But Justin Ryan Lee, 36, of 101 Amber Lane in Willow Springs had not been struck by a vehicle, but fatally shot by someone who had already fled the scene.

Police detained and charged Shawn Lamont Williams, 23, of Raleigh with murder.

Investigators have not yet disclosed a motive, but Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said the shooting was not a random act.

It was about 9:15 p.m. Friday when the 911 caller, a woman, whose name was not made public, quickly changed her mind about Lee being struck by a vehicle after she looked around the immediate area of 7500 block of Fox Road where Lee lay unconscious.

An abandoned, orange Mazda was parked in the road near Lee. The passenger door of the sedan was open and she saw what appeared to be bullet holes in the rear of the vehicle. A gun, which had been repeatedly struck by passing vehicles, was in the roadway, according to the 911 recording.

The 911 caller assumed the Mazda belonged to Lee.

“There’s blood all on the side of his car,” she told the dispatcher. “He can’t breathe. He can’t breathe. He really needs help. He was not hit by a car. It’s a gun in the road. It’s cars, they running over it.”

She told the dispatcher that Lee was trying to catch his breath.

“He’s dying,” she said. “Oh, my God.”

The dispatcher asked the woman to say “now” each time Lee breathed.

“Now,” the woman said.

About 12 seconds passed.


A little more than 13 seconds passed.

Emergency workers who arrived pronounced Lee dead at the scene, police reported.

Williams is being held at the Wake County jail without benefit of bail, a jail spokesman confirmed Monday night.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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