A Pottawatomie County mother makes a heart wrenching call to 911 after she says her son shot her in the head and held her hostage before turning the gun on himself.
“I've been shot in the head,” she tells the dispatcher. “My son shot me.”
And what followed was an excruciating wait for 76-year-old Rita Rhodes, a life or death stakeout in her own bathroom. She held a bloody rag to one side of her head and a telephone to the other.
“I hid his other gun,” she said. “That's what this is all over.”
Her 59-year-old son, Louis Whatley, managed to get his second gun and was taking out his anger on his mother.
“He told me he took a whole damn bottle of Neurontin this morning, and I said until he can show some responsibility he didn't need any damn guns,” Rhodes said. “He's trying to get into the bathroom door.”
“He's trying to get in the bathroom door?” the dispatcher said. “OK. We've got people on the way.”
“He's shooting through it,” Rhodes said.
And then turned the gun on himself.
“He said he's going to kill himself,” Rhodes said. “Oh, he shot a gun.”
During the next 25 minutes, Rhodes' voice starts fading and she fears her life is too.
“If I don't make it, I want you to tell the rest of my kids I love them very dearly, and I'm very proud of all of them, and don't hold this against him.”
Four minutes late the silence is broken with a pop.
“He shot himself. He shot himself. I heard it,” Rhodes said. “I'm going out.”
Deputies arrive and go through the front door.
“They head three additional shots go off from inside of the house,” Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said. “We can't wait for backup anymore. We've got to go in and get her out of there.”
Rhodes was pulled to safety and her son had shot himself in the head and in the side.
Rhodes was treated and released from the hospital. She says her son suffers from mental illness. Whatley is in the hospital in critical condition.