NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A new lawsuit filed late Monday afternoon claims one of the Waffle House shooting victims may have survived if not for a crucial mistake by Metro’s 911 operators.
Akilah DaSilva, 23, died from blood loss at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after he was shot at a Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch on April 22, 2018 — exactly one year ago today.
Three other people also died from injuries sustained in the shooting that morning.
Last May, News 2’s Jessica Jaglois was the first to report that police were initially sent to the wrong Waffle House that morning.
The lawsuit filed by DaSilva’s family claims that because 911 operators initially sent police to another Waffle House nine miles away, he wasn’t able to get the help he needed at a time when every second counted.
News 2 learned that police were sent to the wrong restaurant because 911 operators ignored GPS coordinates of the callers inside the restaurant.
The two Waffle House locations are both located on Murfreesboro Pike but are nearly 10 miles apart. The restaurant at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike, where the shooting occurred, was new and had not shown up in dispatcher’s electronic phone book.
The operators saw GPS coordinates collected during the call were pinging an empty field, and instead of sending the first responders there, directed them to the other Waffle House located at 816 Murfreesboro Pike across from I-24.
But even months after the discovery was made, News 2 learned that Metro Dispatch’s phone book has still not been updated to include the Waffle House in Antioch where the shooting happened.
Additionally, News 2 confirmed that Metro’s 911 operators have not received any additional training since the incident, and reviews made that evening never indicated there was a problem.
The lawsuit also claims that at least one 911 caller did give dispatchers the exact address of the correct Waffle House, and dispatchers still sent first responders to the wrong location.
The filing also states several 911 operators did not ask callers for the cross streets of their location.
News 2 has reached out to Michele Donegan, head of the Metro 911 center, for a response to the lawsuit and are waiting to hear back.