911 calls made day before standoff suicide - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

911 calls made day before standoff suicide

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June 8, 2007

Albany-  More questions arise about how the Albany Police handled a standoff Monday that ended in suicide. Matthew Thomas shot and killed himself after a three hour standoff with police.

WALB News Ten has obtained numerous 911 calls from the house where Matthew Thomas committed suicide. Police spent more than two and a half hours at the house Sunday night.

The police standoff ended Monday, with Milton Thomas visibly upset after being in the home when his son Matthew fatally shot himself, but should police have let it go this far?  Thomas' girlfriend Yolanda Harris called police Sunday.

"What's your problem?" questioned a dispatcher. "Ah, I want someone to leave," said Yolanda Harris on the tape.

Minutes later Harris called police back asking them to cancel the call. A short time later, after 5:30 p.m. Tiffany Davis called 911 again asking for an officer to respond.

"There's an altercation going on and we need, ah, we need a police out here," said Davis.

The argument between Harris and Thomas is so loud dispatchers had a hard time hearing the call for help. The situation escalates and Harris' friend Tiffany Davis gets her out of the situation and calls police to meet them at the Chevron on Gillionville.

"My girlfriend's boyfriend has jumped on her and jumped on her and put a gun to her head and I just came to pick up her and her kids and they're scared to go home," said Tiffany Davis.

Matthew Thomas was a convicted felon and it's illegal for him to possess a firearm, that alone was grounds for his arrest Sunday. On Monday, just before noon, Harris called police again to get a police escort back into the Station Crossing home.

"He took a gun out on me yesterday. Yeah, I'm not sure if he's still there or not," said Harris.

When they arrived, Thomas had barricaded the door and the standoff began. During Monday's 911 call, Harris said police had her statement from Sunday, but also said she didn't want Thomas to go to jail.

Harris simply wanted Thomas to leave, but didn't want him dead.

Calls to the police chief to question him about the department's response Sunday and to ask why Thomas wasn't arrested were never returned. Coroner Emma Quimbley is also looking to question APD about improper protocol.

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