ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – A recording of a six-minute call to emergency dispatchers obtained Thursday by the Associated Press details the moments after a 10-year-old boy allegedly shot his father in the head with a shotgun.
"Just get a doctor over here!" the desperate boy begs the operator on the night of Aug. 27. "Please hurry up. It looks like he's dying."
His father, 42-year-old Bryon Hilburn, was on the floor inside, still breathing, when police arrived at the family's home in Belen, just south of Albuquerque. He died later that night at a hospital.
Now, the boy faces a charge of first-degree murder.
The district attorney filed charges against the boy Tuesday. He cannot face adult sanctions because New Mexico law says a child must be 14 or older to be tried as an adult for murder. The boy remains in the custody of his mother. His name is being withheld because of his age.
During the call, the boy's desperation and concern was interrupted at times with frustration as the operator tried to figure out what had happened.
"I need a doctor. My dad's dying," the boy first tells the operator. The boy gets confused when the operator asks for the home's address. He tells her he will check on the mailbox and tells her his father is bleeding badly and "he fell asleep."
Then in a panicked voice as he breathed heavily, the boy gets further agitated when asked his father's age.
"I don't know. Just come and get him out of here!" he demands.
When the operator asked the boy if he knew what happened, the boy told her he shot his father out of anger.
"I was so over my head. I shot him in the back of the head. I got so angry at him," the boy says two minutes into the call. "Oh, please hurry."
The boy's attention then turns to his sister.
"Don't worry," he gently tells the girl before telling the operator: "Oh, my sister's crying her head off ... I think I hear the sirens."
When asked where the gun is, the boy tells the operator it's in "my dad's gun closet."
The boy can then be heard yelling to officers who arrived at the scene.
"Hurry! My dad!" he shouts at them as the call ends.
Hilburn was divorced and had custody of the boy and his two siblings. The boy's siblings have been staying with relatives following the shooting.
The state's Children, Youth and Families Department reports that state officials received nine calls regarding the family on a department hot line used to report possible child abuse or neglect. Officials substantiated only one claim involving the boy's mother.