Khalid Jabara’s father placed a desperate 911 call after hearing shots ring out and finding his son mortally wounded in the front doorway of their house.
“I need to talk to the police. Somebody shot my son,” Mounah Jabara told dispatchers on the evening of Aug. 12.
Khalid Jabara, 37, was gunned down on his front porch, according to police, by Stanley Vernon Majors, the same next-door neighbor awaiting trial on charges of running down Jabara’s mother with a car last year.
Jabara’s slaying has made headlines around the globe because it came after years of conflict between his Lebanese, Orthodox Christian family and the suspect who had reportedly called them “dirty Arabs,” “filthy Lebanese,” “Aye-rabs” and “Mooslems” — apparently assuming that they were Muslims.
On Friday, Tulsa World obtained two 911 calls placed by Khalid Jabara less than two hours before he was shot. In the first, at 5:02 p.m., he reports hearing someone tapping on the window of his house in the the 9300 block of South 85th East Avenue. In the second, at 5:37 p.m., he reports learning that his neighbor, Majors, was firing a gun in the house next door.
“So the old man left, the other person,” Jabara said in the 5:37 p.m. call, referring to Majors’ husband. “He told me he hit him with the gun and fired it three times somewhere in the house.”
The 911 dispatcher responded, “Someone fired a gun into your neighbor’s house?”
Khalid Jabara told the dispatcher, “In his — yeah, in his own house. The old man told me when he was leaving, he said he’s going — I told him he should go.”
According to police, two officers arrived at 6:27 p.m. but left at 6:40 p.m., apparently because Majors didn’t answer the door when they knocked.
At 6:48 p.m., police received a call of a shooting at the Jabara house.
Tulsa Police Sgt. Shane Tuell told the World on Friday that his department has continued to be under intense scrutiny for its handling of the two emergency calls Khalid Jabara made shortly before he was gunned down.
For starters, he said both reports — assault and discharging a firearm — are misdemeanor offenses in the city of Tulsa. And Tuell said officers’ hands were tied because they need to either personally witness the crimes in progress or interview an actual witness to the crimes to establish probable cause, and Khalid wanted to remain anonymous.
“Dispatchers asked, ‘Did you see anything?’ ‘Well, no.’ He wasn’t very affirmative. He didn’t want to be seen (by officers),” Tuell said. “I wish we could have done more. Our hands were really tied, legally, with what we could do further.”
According to the recordings, the precise exchange went like this:
Dispatcher: “OK, do you want to talk to officers?”
Khalid Jabara: “Oh, no, just, um, just let them be warned this — what I’m just telling you. You should probably just tell them (responding police officers) to make sure so they maybe look for, uh, the bullets. He said he shot maybe the phone or something.”
According to a recording of the third 911 call, placed by Mounah Jabara, the dispatcher asked a series of routine questions — confirming that someone had actually been struck, how long ago, the suspect’s description and location. As the questions went on, the elderly man’s responses became cries strained with panic and fear.
Dispatcher: “OK. He has been shot?”
Mounah Jabara: “Yes, yes. On the floor. Our neighbor.”
Dispatcher: “How many minutes ago did this happen?
“Just now! Just now!” Mounah Jabara responded, his Lebanese accented voice becoming breathless. “Front door, please.”
The dispatcher asked the suspect’s race and age, and Mounah Jabara responded, “White, next-door neighbor ... maybe 60, 65.”
Then the dispatcher pressed for any details about the suspect’s clothing and gun, and Mounah Jabara grew frustrated.
“I don’t know. I can’t say. I can’t see. My son is on the floor. I can’t go ‘cause I’m afraid of (getting) shot,” he said. “He’s left. He’s the next-door neighbor. ... I haven’t seen him. I heard the shots. I heard the shots. I’m afraid he was coming.”
When a female neighbor’s voice can be heard in the background, the dispatcher asked to speak to her.
The neighbor got on the line and shouted, “Please hurry! He’s bleeding, he’s bleeding so much!”
The woman proclaimed, “Oh, my God” several times as she hyperventilated.
When the dispatcher asked if she had seen “the neighbor who did this,” the woman at the Jabaras’ house responded: “I saw him walk inside. I did not see him shoot him.”
In public statements and social media posts, surviving Jabara family members have suggested that the criminal justice system let them down.
District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler earlier this week told the World he doesn’t know what more the family could have done to avoid the tragedy.
Prosecutors had attempted to keep 61-year-old Majors in jail as he awaited trial on a host of charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and protective order violation. Those charges stem from a September 2015 case in which Majors is accused of running down Haifa Jabara — Khalid Jabara’s mother — with his car on a neighborhood street.
Despite prosecutors calling him a “substantial risk to the public,” and a protective order remaining in place against him, Majors was released on bond after eight months in jail. When he was released in May, he returned home next door to the Jabara family.