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  • SV De-Bug

"Hurry Up, Please. My Cousin Needs Help." First Witness Makes Frantic Calls to 911 for Aid.

Juan was only 19 years old when he was faced helping his 18 year old cousin during a suicidal crisis. This is his cousin that he considered 'more than a brother' -- one who was always happy, active, and friendly, but then fell into a deep sadness in the days leading up to July 4th. From the witness stand, Juan spoke about seeing his cousin face down on their Aunt's bed, bleeding from the head. He took the gun away from Anthony, and started making 911 calls for help, while at the same time trying to keep his cousin alive. The repeated 911 calls pleading for help while facing language barriers, trauma and confusion on what he should do, was overwhelming.  You could hear the emotions and distress he was faced with - his frustration in trying to please get help and hurry, in between telling his cousin to 'stay awake'. But when the police did come, when he went outside the house to meet them, he was placed in handcuffs and sat in the back of a police car when Anthony was shot and killed. He told them that if they weren't going to help his cousin, to let him out because he was going to help him. He heard two shots, and that's when he knew they shot his cousin. From the car, he saw the police officers celebrating with high fives and handshakes, then being detained and taken to the police station until 3am for interrogation. 3 years later, you can still hear the trauma in his voice, in the way his body shook as he had to describe over and over again from the stand what he saw. Another cousin Jose hugged him after court, saying, "Anthony is looking down on you real proudly today for telling the truth." 

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