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May 19, 2008

Audio of 911 call in Roanoke shooting is released

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.

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.

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