911 tape before murder-suicide released Michael Cowling killed himself, Jennifer Bickings
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Updated: Thursday, 15 Apr 2010, 11:17 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 15 Apr 2010, 6:03 PM EDT
- By Leon Hendrix
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The 911 tape from the murder-suicide last week in Texas Township has been released by police and obtained by 24 Hour News 8.
Officers surrounded a home in the 1500 block of Lamont Avenue on Thursday, across the street from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. When police entered the townhouse, they found two people dead: Michael Cowling and Jennifer Bickings.
After shooting the woman he called his wife, Cowling called 911 to say the shooting was an accident. Throughout the call, dispatchers tried to calm Cowling but were not successful. He ended up killing himself shortly after.
The first call for help came in at around 10:10 p.m., and reported that 27-year-old Bickings had been shot in the face. The phone call was made by an off-duty paramedic, who rushed to help but retreated after the suspect threatened to kill himself and others.
Units from across Kalamazoo County responded as several witnesses called 911 to report what they were seeing. Several said they saw a man — who turned out to be Cowling — shooting a gun outside. Police could not immediately approach, and a tactical team was called in.
Another 911 call came in about 20 minutes after the first from Cowling’s cousin, who was inside the townhouse. That cousin detailed how delicate the situation was. Shortly after, Cowling made another 911 call.
Despite dispatchers’ efforts to calm Cowling down, about four minutes into his call, a gunshot is heard and he stops responding. Thirty minutes later, the tactical team entered and found the couple dead.
The shooting may have stemmed from an argument, investigators said.
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