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'There were cops...but where is the EMS?': Family questions EMS response time, charges in 19-year-old's death

Posted at 10:45 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 23:45:45-04

HARKER HEIGHTS, TX — Three people have been arrested in connection to the death of Quinton Ford. The 19-year-old was killed during a shooting in the parking lot of Harker Heights High School.

Tire marks are still fresh at the scene where Ford was found bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. A make-shift memorial now stands where his body was found.

His sister, Kara Ford, is now left questioning the response time by EMS as well as the charges filed against the suspects.

“No telling how long he has been sitting there. He had enough time to call me and send me his location. No telling how long he was laying there. They didn’t have to shoot him like that, they didn’t have to shoot him four times," she said.

Kara says she feels like she lost her other half.

She says her younger brother called three times the night he was shot and even sent her his location. Kara says she even found Quinton before police did.

“I appreciate the police that were down there giving him CPR, but by that time, I feel like he was really almost gone," she said.

The Harker Heights Police Department released the following timeline of events for that night:

  • 11:09 pm – 11:12 pm Six calls reporting shots fired
  • 11:11 pm Police units dispatched to the call
  • 11:12 pm First police unit arrives on the scene
  • 11:19 pm Officer notes an individual may be hiding in the woods and is possibly shot, prior to locating Quinton Ford.
  • 11:20 pm Officer request EMS
  • 11:20 pm Officers discover Quinton Ford in a wooded area off Verna Lee thanks to the assistance of a family member, whom Quinton Ford had contacted.
  • 11:21 pm Officers began life saving measures. One of the officers rendering aid is combat life-saver military trained.
  • 11:26 pm EMS arrived on the scene
  • 11:27 pm Quinton Ford is placed on gurney.
  • 11:28 pm Quinton Ford is placed in the ambulance. Immediately began receiving advanced cardiac life support to include CPR. EMS consulted the City’s Medical Director on the care of the patient. The determination was made to carry the patient to Seton Medical Center after consultation with the City’s Medical Director given the severity of the injuries.
  • 11:44 pm EMS departs for Seton Medical Hospital
  • 11:49 pm EMS arrives at Seton Medical Hospital
  • 12:08 am Justice of the Peace, Gregory Johnson pronounces Quinton Ford deceased.

“Like EMS should’ve been on the scene when I arrived. There were cops on the scene, but where is the EMS? When I found him, EMS should be right there, right there,” said Kara.

The sister says she got to the scene around 11:20 p.m. and located her brother bleeding excessively. She believes if EMS would have been called to the scene earlier, there may have been a different outcome. However, former law enforcement officer, Dr. Tammy Bracewell, says that’s not always how things work.

"In most cases where maybe a shots fired call comes in, most of the time only police are dispatched. Even if you have a known victim, police always respond first because they have to make sure that the scene is safe and secure before EMS personnel can respond,” explained the now professor of criminal justice at A&M-Central Texas

Kara says her family still has many questions and has heard several conflicting stories, but they hope charges will be adjusted to fit the crime committed.

The two suspects that have been arraigned on charges have been identified as Endy Neri Soto and Taja West.

Soto has been charged with deadly conduct- discharge of a firearm. A $500,000 bond has been set.

West has been charged with aggravated robbery. A $500,000 bond has been set.

Both Soto and West are in custody at the Bell County Jail.

“I want to thank the Harker Heights Police Department for working for three days in a row in finding these three suspects, but I don’t agree with what the shooters are charged with," said Kara.

Quinton's mother says she thanks the Harker Heights Police Department for their work and hopes to work with them in the future to improve response times for EMS across our area.

25 News reached out to Harker Heights PD for further comment and have not heard back.