EVANSVILLE – The Evansville Police Department says it's not releasing a 911 call from a recent double shooting in which an armed bystander reportedly told police he shot a person he had allegedly witnessed shooting and killing another man.
The refusal doesn’t extend to other 911 calls Evansville Vanderburgh Central Dispatch released from the incident because the bystander's call includes his name and address, according to Police Chief Billy Bolin.
The Courier & Press made a records request for the call this week. In the past, the Courier & Press and other media outlets have routinely received recordings of 911 calls in active investigations ranging from gun homicides to child neglect cases.
In its response, EPD officials wrote: “The department does have records that are responsive to your request, however it has been learned that the incident in question is currently an active investigation and therefore they cannot be released at this time.”
The 911 call in question stems from a double shooting reported at the Lodge Food Mart at 2100 Lodge Ave., just before 8 p.m. Wednesday. According to police, two men – Nicholas Fenwick, 28, and 33-year-old Brett Coulson – were shot and killed.
A bystander in the parking lot reportedly called 911 and told police he’d witnessed the two men get into an argument. One of the men then pulled a gun and fatally shot the other. Police haven’t said which man is accused of being the initial shooter.
After seeing the shooting, the bystander told police he “yelled for the male with the gun to drop his weapon but he refused,” an Evansville Police Department news release states. “He stated he shot at the male and the male fled behind the building,” where he later died.
The bystander called 911 and turned himself in. Police haven’t released his name. Bolin said they are completing a case file to turn over to the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office, which will make a determination on whether charges should be filed.
The Courier & Press obtained two other 911 calls in the same case. One came from a man who lived nearby on Riverside Drive who heard “five or six shots.” Another came from a worker at the convenience store.
The EPD also initially declined to release the incident report in Wednesday’s shooting, even though those reports are public record. They eventually released a version of it with the victims’ names redacted.
The Courier & Press has received non-redacted versions of those reports in the past, but has a policy to never identify the deceased until the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office has contacted family members and released the names.
The Courier & Press also doesn’t release the names of possible suspects or people involved in crimes until they’ve been arrested, formally charged, or officially named by law enforcement.
This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: Evansville police decline to release 911 call in double shooting