A look at Harrisburg police shooting timeline through 911 call log

Earl Pinckney

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The log isn’t thorough, but ABC27 is learning more about the shooting of a 20-year-old uptown man by police a week and a half ago.

Police say Earl Pinckney was holding a knife to his mother’s throat when they shot him on Aug. 7; his mom maintains that’s not true.

Wednesday, as the result of a Right to Know request, ABC27 investigated what the calls records show from that night.

The read-outs, despite not containing audio or even full transcripts of the calls, do give new insight into the law enforcement side of the call.

At 9:06 p.m., the first entry appears when the dispatcher creates the event with the first 911 call. That call was from a 9-year-old girl, the log shows, saying “her uncle is trying to hurt the grandmother.”

She “just kept saying come quick,” the dispatcher writes in the notes.

The county 911 center has to call back and reaches another relative, who says her “brother is attacking them.”

At 9:07, that person tells the dispatcher Pinckney “has a knife in his hand and has the mother locked in a room” and “saying he is going to kill her.”

Remember, that’s the info being passed on to police in the field. The first units are dispatched at 9:08.

In the next couple minutes, police learn the man’s name and where he is in the house (“the back room on the 2nd floor”).

At 9:10, unit 231 is dispatched; it appears the officer in that unit fired the single shot that killed Pinckney because later on, the log shows 231 was taken to the criminal investigations division by another cop.

With the 911 callers across the street, at 9:15 Sunday night, info comes into dispatch from police on the scene that the “male has a knife to female’s neck in a back room.”

Just 11 seconds later, the comment comes across the radio that police are “making entry.”

A minute after that, a call for EMS, then at 9:17 dispatchers receive the shots fired report.

At 9:20 paramedics find Pinckney with a gunshot wound to his “upper left chest,” and by 9:34 the coroner is on his way.

Again, Pinckney’s mother disputes that account, saying he didn’t have a knife to her throat.

The Dauphin County district attorney’s office did not return a call Wednesday afternoon for comment on how this information might be used in the investigation.


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