Only muffled sounds and a woman screaming can be heard on the call to Cabarrus County 911 before the line is disconnected on Wednesday.
When the dispatcher calls back, a man who authorities later identified as Reginald Wyniel Mercer, 29, says: “Oh, yes, it was an accident. I’m sorry.”
“Where’s the female that was in the background screaming?” the dispatcher asks.
“She’s right here,” Mercer replies.
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But when the dispatcher asks to speak to her, the phone is disconnected.
Another call comes in, from Mercer’s mother, Brenda Jackson.
“I need you to send police, ambulance and everything,” she says, according to 911 tapes released to the media on Thursday. “Me and my daughter have just been shot by my son ... She got bullet wounds to her head. I got one in my head, my hand and my shoulder. Please send somebody.”
The terrifying scene along a wooded road in a rural area near N.C. 73 between Concord and Huntersville left three people dead, one hospitalized and many relatives and friends questioning why. A son with a long criminal record is believed to have killed his sister, a close friend, and himself.
Authorities said Mercer fatally shot his sister, Qutina Mercer Carter, who was found dead inside her mother’s home in the 2500 block of Shiloh Church Road.
Albert Jackson Sr., a relative who’d gone to the home to drive Mercer to work at a Huntersville warehouse, was found dead in the back seat of a white SUV in the driveway.
Brenda Jackson was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord with gunshot wounds that weren’t life-threatening, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office said.
On the 911 tapes, Jackson tells the dispatcher that she believes her son went to his bedroom. That prompted an hours-long standoff with police before they discovered that he’d gone to a house across the street and shot and killed himself.
Family members who gathered outside Jackson’s home on Thursday said they’re at a loss to explain why Mercer shot his mom, sister and Albert Jackson Sr., who they said was a mentor to him and drove him to work every day.
“We’re all wondering why,” said Larry Jackson, Albert Jackson Sr.’s nephew.
“We’re still checking into that,” Cabarrus County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Paul Hunt said. “We don’t know.”
He asked anyone with information to call the Sheriff’s Office at 704-920-3000.
“Never in a million years would Albert have thought that Reginald would kill him,” said Linda Elmore, Albert Jackson Sr.’s niece, who worried when he didn’t answer her call Wednesday.
Albert Jackson Sr. had mentored Mercer after he’d gotten out of prison, helping him find and hold jobs, family members said.
Mercer was placed on the N.C. Sex Offender Registry after pleading guilty when he was 18 to taking indecent liberties against a child, court records show.
He was released in 2008 after three months in prison for drug possession and resisting an officer. He was released in 2012 after eight months in prison for armed robbery conspiracy.
“He had a rage and just didn’t control himself,” said his stepfather, James Jackson.
Family members surmised that Mercer’s sister went to her mother’s home to quell an argument between Mercer and Brenda Jackson.
Mercer once worked for Inspirations, a contract service that provided counseling and other services to seniors.
Qutina Carter’s Toyota Camry was still in the driveway of her mother’s home on Thursday. Her purse was on the front seat. On the backseat was her son’s child seat.
He turned 6 on Wednesday.
Staff researcher Maria David contributed.