DPD: Caller's Thick Accent Downgraded 911 Shooting Call

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    NBC 5
    Dallas police said the 911 call-taker who took a call about a shooting during a robbery had a difficult time understanding the caller and did not hear the words "shot" or "shoot."

    A shooting at a West Dallas store was initially classified as a robbery call because the 911 call-taker had a difficult time understanding the caller because of his accent, police said Tuesday.

    Joe Cho, the manager of Pepe's Grocery, said officers did not speak to him for more than two hours after he fired shots during a robbery attempt late Sunday night.

    Cho told NBC 5 that he fired his pistol twice after four armed men came into the store in the 4800 block of Bernal Drive and demanded money at about 10:55 p.m. He called 911 at about 11 p.m., police said.

    But the call-taker had a difficult time understanding him and did not hear the words "shot" or "shoot," police said. Police said the caller had a very heavy accent and was speaking very quickly.

    "The delay in response to the call was due to officers already working an active shooter call, a major accident, a burglary in progress at a residence and a shooting on Singleton Boulevard," the police department said in a statement Tuesday evening.

    One of the calls was for a shooting victim in the 5800 block of Bernal Drive that turned out to be a suspect in the Pepe's Grocery robbery.

    Dallas police said they responded to the robbery call at about 12:14 a.m., but no one was at the store, which was locked. An employee was notified and returned to the store.

    Cho said he went home after no officers responded to his 911 call and spoke with officers at about 1:20 a.m.

    Police said the responding officers reviewed the store's surveillance video and identified the shooting victim as one of the robbers.

    He has been charged with aggravated robbery. The other three men are still at large.

    Dallas police said the investigation into the robbery is still ongoing.

    NBC 5's Ken Kalthoff contributed to this report.