Worcester Police release 911 tape in deadly gunfight on Grafton Street
WORCESTER – A 31-year-old gunman shot dead by Worcester police on April 20, told a police dispatcher that the bomb attached to him was attached to his heart and that if his heart stopped, the bomb would explode.
Phet Gouvonvong Jr. called 911 and was transferred to an emergency dispatcher. Shortly thereafter, he demanded that police be dispatched to the scene in the area of 258 Grafton Street.
However, Gouvonvong did not know where he was, instead telling the dispatcher that he was near a church, a basketball court, and a Pizza Hut. The dispatcher asked if he was on Grafton Street, and he said he was. He said he had an AR rifle.
On Thursday, in response to a request for public recording by the Telegram & Gazette, the Worcester Police Department released a recording of Gouvonvong’s call to 911. It was made around 10:30 p.m.
The dispatcher stayed on the line with Gouvonvong for over 20 minutes, asking him questions about the bomb and assuring him that she was trying to help him. But after 17 minutes, Gouvonvong became restless.
“You’re wrong right now, and I honestly feel it,” he told the dispatcher. “And if I explode right now, it doesn’t matter, it’s on you and if wherever that other is on you. You know that, don’t you? Bad now and… even worse than what I’m feeling, feeling. Like, so therefore, you should move and move… fast. “
Throughout the call, Gouvonvong indicates that someone else is controlling the bomb attached to him and that there is a second bomb somewhere in town that will explode if he dies.
“There’s one on me right now and I’ve been told there is another,” he told the dispatcher when she asked how many bombs he had.
“If I die at any time before my mission is over, it happens. And I’m supposed to reveal what I need when everything is calm and settled when I get there,” he said.
At one point, Gouvonvong tells the dispatcher that he was supposed to walk to the police station with the bomb but it is heavy, maybe 60 or 70 pounds, and that he has come a long way.
The call ends abruptly after 20 minutes and 58 seconds.
Meanwhile, the Worcester Police SWAT team have been dispatched to Grafton Street. Negotiations that began with the dispatcher continued at the scene.
Gouvonvong had what appeared to be an assault weapon, a bulletproof vest, and a backpack.
“The negotiators then embarked on a long attempt to defuse the situation,” Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early said hours later. “As the negotiations continued, the man seemed more and more agitated, made furtive movements.
After making these movements towards the police, Gouvonvong was shot dead. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said his bomb claim was unfounded.
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