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‘It was so shocking’: 911 recordings reveal calls for help at fatal Summerlin shooting

Updated April 16, 2024 - 10:30 am

Recordings of more than a dozen emergency calls from frantic office employees and others during the April 8 double murder-suicide at a Las Vegas law firm were released Monday by the Metropolitan Police Department.

People in the building, some who sounded terrified during the shooting deaths of Dennis Prince, 57, wife Ashley, 30, and suicide of the shooter, Joseph Houston II, 77, told 911 operators what they heard and saw, some crying and begging for police to arrive, according to the recordings.

Dennis and Ashley Prince were shot by Houston at about 10 a.m. in a conference room in Suite 560 of the City National Bank building during a deposition in a tense Family Court battle involving Houston’s son, Dylan Houston, the father of two children with Ashley Prince, his ex-wife, according to police.

Two of the people in the 911 recordings said that, while talking on the phone with the operator, they heard a single shot fired after an initial barrage of shots.

“I hear (police) sirens, but please hurry,” said one of the 911 callers. “We don’t know if he’s still here.”

“The gun came out next to me,” said another who told the operator she was present at the shooting. “It was so shocking we fled the room.”

“We heard the shots,” said a caller who worked in the sixth floor, one floor above the conference room. “I heard screams and a couple ‘Oh my Gods,’ and I locked the door and we’re staying in our office.”

A court document filed last week by Michele LoBello, one of Ashley Prince’s attorneys, described the chaotic scene, including how the shooter appeared to spare a pregnant lawyer who also was in the room.

That lawyer, identified as Shannon Wilson, “immediately ducked and hid under the conference room table,” LoBello wrote in the filing.

The first of the recorded 911 calls — with the names of people and their phone numbers redacted — came in at 10:04 a.m., from a near-hysterical female employee of Dennis Prince’s law firm, Prince Law Group, hiding beneath a desk inside a room in Suite 560 close to the conference room.

‘Oh my God, I’m scared’

She took refuge there and tried to muffle her voice while talking to the operator.

“There was a shooting in our conference room,” she said, crying. “We’re in my office putting a deposition. I just heard — oh my God, too much.”

The operator told her to take a deep breath, asked her if she was in a safe spot and if the door was locked.

“No,” she whispered, “I can’t lock the door.”

“Are you under the desk?” the operator asked.

“Yes,” she said, whispering again. “I’m just scared.”

She told the operator she heard “probably like 10” shots and that “at least five or six” people were in the conference room at the time of the shooting.

“I heard screaming,” she said. “Oh my God, I’m scared. I hope nobody dies,” she said

“Is your office right next to the conference room?” the operator asked.

“Yes, and there’s no way for me to get out except through the…”

“Ma’am, just stay there until officers come get you, OK?” the operator said. “Officers are going to start clearing the building.”

“What do I do when (they) get into the office?” she said, sounding frightened. “To be staying under the desk?”

“If you’re in a hiding place, stay where you are,” the operator said.

‘I hope my boss didn’t get killed’

“I think I know what (was) going on in the deposition,” the worker said. “I think the person’s last name is Houston, it’s an attorney in town. We’re a civil practice but my boss, his new wife is in a really, really contentious — the divorce.”

“Oh God, oh God, oh God,” she whispered frantically. “I hope my boss didn’t get killed.”

Then from the recording came what sounds like a gunshot.

“Oh my God, there’s another shot. Another gunshot. Another one,” she said, sounding on the verge of panic.

The operator said that the police were on their way to her floor and to keep taking breaths.

The employee made repeated loud breaths into the phone.

“Oh my God, when are they going to get here. What the f—-? Why are they taking so long?” she complained.

“Looks like the officers just updated about Suite 560, so they should be nearby,” the operator replied.

The employee said she heard a door opening. “Oh, it’s the police,” she said. “The police are here.”

“I’m scared to think that the suspect is here,” she added.

Officers are heard yelling in the background.

“It’s just me, I need help,” the woman shouted. “It’s just me, I’m an employee.”

“Hands up,” said a voice.

“My hands are out, my hands are up,” she said.

“OK, OK, I’m disconnecting,” the operator said.

‘Please hurry. We have a pregnant woman here’

About 50 seconds later, another Prince legal employee, sheltered on the fifth floor with four other Prince workers, told the 911 operator that she had heard “like 10 or more” shot fired.

“We were having a deposition and an opponent shot my boss,” she told the operator. “We’re hiding under a desk in my office.”

“Hurry,” the employee said. “Please hurry. We have a pregnant woman here.”

She then talked to a person next to her. “It’s Joe? Joe killed him? Joseph Houston, he’s older, older gentleman.”

After requesting the woman to provide a description of Houston, the operator asked how long ago the shooting occurred.

“Five to 10 minutes ago,” she said. “Please hurry, please hurry! We don’t know if he’s still out there.”

Asked if the gun used was a long gun or a hand gun, “we don’t know!” she said. “I don’t know. It was so loud, it was so loud! Please hurry, please hurry!”

‘We don’t know if we’re safe’

“I understand you’re scared,” the operator said. “We have officers arriving right now, OK?”

“Where is your boss now?” the operator asked.

“He’s at the conference room, at the front, we’re in the back,” the employee said. “We don’t know if he’s still there. We don’t know if we’re safe.”

“We have officers arriving there right now,” the operator said.

“Are they here?” the employee said before saying in obvious fear, “I hear sirens., but please, don’t — hurry, we don’t know if he’s (the shooter) still here.”

The employee then spoke, nearly out of breath, to the others about hearing things outside the room, when she said she just heard another shot fired.

A few minutes later, the employee said she could hear footsteps. It was police officers, and some of the employees sighed out loudly in relief.

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on X.

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