ROANOKE — In a chaotic 911 call early Sunday, Chester Eli Cunningham struggled to talk to a dispatcher while his brother-in-law screamed in the background.Aric McGowan had just shot his sister, Keli Atkins, by accident about 1:30 a.m. Sunday near the pool at the Best Western Inn and Suites, police said. She was laying on the ground by the pool as a nurse gave her CPR, Cunningham told the dispatcher. "It’s fine, he didn’t understand it was an off-duty weapon," Cunningham told the dispatcher when she asked where the shooter was. Then, screaming and yelling erupted in the background. "It’s my brother-in-law," Cunningham said. "He’s drunk." McGowan can be heard in the background of the recording yelling expletives. "You left a real (expletive) gun on the stupid (expletive) table! Are you serious!" McGowan was arrested Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter. He posted $25,000 bail and was released later that day. Police are still investigating how the accident happened.
MELISSA VARGAS, 817-685-3888