911 dispatch error leads to 5-minute delay in response to teen murder-suicide

SAPD says call taker was counseled after April 25 mistake

By Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter, Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Emergency audio records released by the San Antonio Police Department confirm that officers responding to a shooting call involving two Highlands High School students late last month were initially sent to the wrong address.

The mistake, which involved a call taker dispatching officers to 3903 SW Military Drive instead of the actual shooting scene at 3903 SE Military Drive, took more than five minutes to correct, audio provided to the KSAT 12 Defenders confirms.

Clarissa Riojas, 18, was later found dead inside an upstairs apartment at the Sereno Park Apartments.

Her accused shooter, 19-year-old Louis Nickerson, was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a wooded area north of the complex, SAPD officials previously said.

RELATED: Dozens of SAPD dispatch employees claim morale crisis 

The call taker responsible for the error "was counseled for this incident," an SAPD spokeswoman said via email on Monday.

The wrong address caused officers to respond to a small single-story tax office, more than 9 miles from the actual shooting scene.

LISTEN TO RIOJAS' SISTER'S 911 CALL:

A woman who works at that business said Monday she originally thought there had been a burglary there, because of the heavy police response.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY: Victim, suspect in fatal SE Side shooting attended Highlands High School, officials say 

Emergency call records verify that Riojas' 16-year-old sister called 911 after she said Nickerson shot at the door, broke into the apartment, then shot her sister in the head before 8 a.m.

Within seconds of the call taker answering the call, the teen had identified Nickerson by his first and last name as the shooter and had provided the correct street address and apartment number.

Throughout the call, the teen is heard repeatedly asking authorities to hurry because she was scared and that her sister was "bleeding out," and not moving.

LISTEN TO DISPATCH AUDIO:

Midway through the 911 conversation, authorities asked Riojas' sister to confirm the address.

A dispatcher is heard making a correction to the address and informed officers the scene is on SE Military Drive.

The teen spent 17 minutes on the phone with dispatchers.

Records confirm it took 14 minutes from the time the 911 call was answered to the time officers reached the distraught teen, who had moved to a neighboring apartment with her nephews, who she said were in the apartment with her at the time of the shooting.

Riojas and Nickerson had dated for about a year and a half, according to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. Riojas cut off all ties with Nickerson about a week before he showed up at her apartment in an attack that took Riojas by surprise, police said.

Riojas' family declined to comment Monday.

Her mother said via telephone that her daughter was the victim of a "stalking situation."

The San Antonio Police Department released the following statement to KSAT on Monday:

“The murder of Clarissa Riojas was a senseless tragedy. The call taker was very upset about the mistake she made in a high stress situation and it was obviously unintentional. We believe that despite the delay, there would not have been time to prevent the unfortunate events that occurred that morning.”

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