Student’s 911 Call Released

By Pam Robinson

Aug 27, 2009 10:36am

ABC News On Campus reporter Chris Badders blogs:

The tape of a 911 call from a University of North Carolina-Chapel
Hill student who was shot to death after he was pulled over by police was
released Wednesday.


 On the tape, Courtland Smith tells the dispatcher
that he has a gun and has been drinking,  and adds, “I’m trying to kill myself on I-40,
that’s all I need,” Smith told the dispatcher. “I got a 9-mm. pistol with me.”


Smith refuses to pull over, saying he was heading towards
Asheville, N.C. He gave incorrect information about his location but wouldn’t
give his name to the Guilford County dispatcher.


“I e-mailed anything anyone needed to know to my parents,”
he said.


The recording ends with Smith’s Toyota 4-Runner being pulled
over by Archdale police officers, but cuts off before the shooting.  The North Carolina State Bureau of
Investigation is investigating the shooting, which occurred  early Sunday.


The Archdale Police Department has put Jeremy Paul Flinchum,
the officer who shot Smith, and another officer, whose name has not been
released, on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the


Though the tape was released, questions remain about why
Smith, a 21-year-old junior, had been driving to Asheville and what led to the


According to Chris Rice, a 1994 DKE alumnus and spokesperson
for the fraternity, those that were in close contact to Smith that night said
he showed no unusual behavior.


“The last information we had on Courtland was that when he
left a party at the fraternity at approximately 12:30 a.m. and went to his
off-campus residence he seemed to be fine,” Rice told reporters in a statement
from the fraternity. “Courtland talked to his roommates at approximately 2 a.m.
and he sounded fine.”


A memorial service was held Wednesday at Chapel of The Cross
church in Chapel Hill. Many that attended were from the university’s Greek
community and were seen hugging each other and fighting back tears as they left
the service.


Smith’s funeral will be Friday
in his hometown of Houston, Texas.

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