SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — By the time Jaylon Carroll’s car had come to a stop and had caught on fire, he was already dead after being shot several times.
Dispatcher communications have shed some light as to what happened in what a city official described as the dynamic and hostile moments between the time he was shot and the time responding units secured the scene, put out the fire, and declared the 22-year-old Carroll officially dead. It all happened in about 40 minutes.
“Shots fired at 7th and Freeney Avenue.”
Those would be the shots that would end up killing Carroll. That call came into the Suffolk Emergency Communications Center at 8:48 p.m. More than 20 minutes later, at 9:11 p.m., it received multiple calls for a car crash involving a building. Police were dispatched for the shooting, and police and fire and rescue units were dispatched for the crash.
What we now know is Carroll was shot several times on Freeney Avenue, then drove his vehicle to the next street over — in the 1900 block of East Washington Street — where he lost control and crashed into a fence near a house, the vehicle catching on fire.
“Within minutes, it was determined that the two calls were in fact related,” said city Communications Director Jennifer Moore, responding via email to questions from 10 On Your Side.
She noted the “dynamic situation” that was quickly unfolding as bystanders in the surrounding neighborhood also arrived at the scene as police and fire and rescue personnel were also responding and trying to properly assess the incident.
In Ring doorbell video, Carroll’s revving engine can be heard, and according to witnesses at the scene, it continued for at least 15 minutes.
The city said the cause of the fire, according to an investigation by the Suffolk fire marshal, “was heat of the engine due to the depressed accelerator. The heat caused the material (brush/vegetation) under the vehicle to catch fire, which spread to the surrounding area and the vehicle’s engine compartment.”
You can hear a dispatcher radio.
“Gunshot victim. Be advised the vehicle is currently on fire. Please be advised there is going to be a DOA.“
Dead on arrival.
They knew Carroll was dead, but the car was on fire.
“The engine is trying to blow up,” was radioed from the field.
The sounds from the vehicle were not gunfire, but noises “commonly associated and consistent with a vehicle being on fire,” Moore wrote.
“The shots fired were coming from the car due to flames,” the dispatcher said. “There (is) no active gunfire here.”
Suffolk Police confirmed that when they initially arrived on scene, they heard what they believed to be gunfire coming from the vehicle.
“The fire department is refusing to respond,” according to the dispatcher. “They are saying the scene is not secure. We made them aware the vehicle is fully engulfed, and it is going to take down the structure. We are also making them aware they are going to evac.”
Suffolk Fire and Rescue was told to stage until scene was cleared.
“We made them aware it was from the vehicle, and no one was actively shooting,” the dispatcher said, referring to Suffolk Fire and Rescue.
“Let them know this vehicle is going to burn on the house unless they respond now,” a Suffolk Police officer responded.
The house did not end up burning.
Moore noted that “because of this hostile situation of potential secondary gunfire, city of Suffolk procedure is that SFR remains staged until the scene is declared secure by SPD.”
Suffolk Fire and Rescue had already had two responding units (engine and ladder companies), and remaining units were staging two blocks away, per standard procedure. Once the scene was determined to be clear, the other units arrived to the scene, but the fire at that point had been put out.
The city said that “because of the hostile situation of potential secondary gunfire, city of Suffolk procedure is that SFR (Suffolk Fire and Rescue) remain staged until the scene is declared secure by SPD (Suffolk Police Department).”
Moore said Suffolk Fire and Rescue’s total response time after they were dispatched to the scene was four minutes, including the time spent staging.
The city said it is unclear precisely when Carroll died, but said that the Suffolk Police officer who was the first on scene assessed “that the victim was deceased at 9:14 p.m.”
Suffolk Fire and Rescue arrived at the scene two minutes later, and the official time of death, as per its paramedic protocol, was 9:26 p.m.
10 On Your Side interviewed a neighbor, Dustin, who was returning home and thought his house was on fire, but it was not.
“At first, I think they (Suffolk Police) were confused on what had happened on the scene,” he said. “They told us a car crashed through our house, but that was not the case.”
In the end, Suffolk Police reported that Suffolk Fire and Rescue responded and extinguished the fire.
Police also reported that Carroll was not burned by the fire. He died from the gunfire over on Freeney Avenue.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, family and friends will remember Jaylon Carroll at the scene where he died If you know anything about this case, please call the crime line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
Moore said no arrests have been made in connection to the incident, and the investigation into it remains ongoing, but a person at the scene was detained and later arrested in connection to a separate incident.