Family Of Fatal Mauling Victim Questions Deputy Response Time

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Twenty-nine minutes, that's how long it took Knox County Sheriff's deputies to get to the scene where Jennifer Lowe was attacked by two pit bulls on Monday.

According to her parents, that was too long.

Jeanne Kidd first called 9-1-1 at 3:44 PM, claiming her neighbor was yelling for help.

The call was immediately dispatched but deputies didn't arrive on scene for nearly a half hour.

"She just had a full life ahead of her and she should be here,” said Donna Lowe, Jennifer’s aunt. “There should be no reason that she shouldn't be here."

Jennifer Lowe's family is mourning her death while wondering what took authorities so long to answer her screams for help.

Neighbor Jeanne Kidd made the first call to 911 at 3:44 PM.

"I just went out on my deck to get my dog and there is a woman across the street screaming ‘somebody help me,’" Kidd said.

Thirteen minutes later, Kidd made a second call.

Dispatcher: “Knox county 911.”
Kidd: “Yeah, I just called 911 about a woman who was screaming across the street and I think I see blood everywhere, so please tell them to hurry.”

Then 22 minutes after the first call, Kidd makes a third call.

Dispatcher: “Knox county 911.”
Kidd: “Yeah, I've called twice about what looks like a dog attack with my neighbor."

From the first call to the arrival of deputies, it took 29 minutes.

"I think it's ridiculous,” said Ashley Lowe, Jennifer’s cousin. “I think they could have done a better job at it."

Relatives of Jennifer Lowe say 29 minutes is too long to respond to a woman screaming for help.

They feel she could still be alive today if authorities had gotten there quicker.

"It could have made a big difference because Jennifer was screaming,” said Donna. “She would still be alive if they had got there while she was still screaming. It could have made a huge difference."

So what took the Knox County Sheriff's department so long to respond?

Knox County Interim Sheriff Tom Spangler was unavailable for comment and KCSO Spokeswoman Martha Dooley only says they responded as quickly as they could.

But for Jennifer's relatives, they would like to know why.

“Jennifer's mother would like to know too,” Donna said, “and she would like to hear from them and see why it took so long."

Donna said the family is leaving Thursday evening for Huntsville to attend Jennifer's funeral.

Jennifer Lowe's family will receive friends at the Four Oaks Funeral Home on Friday night from 6:00 to 9:00.

The funeral is on Saturday at 1:00 PM.

Burial will be held at Winona Cemetery.


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  • by David Location: Rockford on Nov 18, 2007 at 09:38 PM
    Listen,911 dispatched the police as soon as they got the call.The Knoxville Police Dept. are the ones at fault here.I hope the family sues the pants off of the KPD.
  • by steven Location: ringgold ga on Nov 17, 2007 at 08:47 PM
    well alan i bet you would change your mind if it happened to one of your kids.everone as piss poor opinon when it comes to other people been killed but i bet you would have a better opinon if it was one of your's
  • by To Alan Location: Tazewell on Nov 16, 2007 at 03:36 PM
    Lets see if you are saying the same thing when you or your family member is dying while waiting for a ambulance, for 29 minutes, 911 is Slow, they need to quicken up so does the police response!
  • by Knox Girl Location: Knoxville on Nov 16, 2007 at 09:15 AM
    When something happens to one of your family members and it takes a half hour for help to arrive.....we'll see what your attitude is. This is unacceptable!
  • by Cheryl on Nov 16, 2007 at 07:14 AM
    I hate that the girl lost her life as well, but I think the media has well broadcasted these attacks from dogs, usually pit bulls, rottweillers, etc. I think they should outlaw these breeds. I get scared alone when I'm out with my 3-year -old and see one in someone's yards. They are notoriously for turning on people. How many more lives must it take?
  • by alan Location: clinton on Nov 15, 2007 at 07:11 PM
    to blame 911 because you were stupid enough to sleep with a pit bull is beyond my reasoning power. My family has dogs, cats, and fish for pets. There is one cat that we lock on the sun porch at night. Get a grip, I am sorry someone died, but it is not 911's fault!

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