The conduct of police in Colorado Springs has been called into question after a woman accused the local department of failing to respond to a possible hostage situation involving her husband. Public outrage over the incident is growing louder as news of the bizarre tragedy steadily gains traction online.
According to multiple reports, Talija Campbell received alarming text messages from her husband, Qualin Campbell, 31, on June 2 while he was at work. The first message was a photo that showed a white male in the passenger seat of her husband’s work vehicle as he drove. The following messages read “911” and “send please!” Qualin also sent his wife his location.
In a press conference held June 8, Talija said she called the police and told them she believed her husband was being held hostage. “I gave them the exact address because he was able to provide me the location. I gave them the description of the man because I can clearly see it in the picture. All I wanted was for someone to check on my husband,” she said. The woman noted that the female dispatcher lacked a sense of urgency in her voice, so she decided to drive to the location herself. It took her an hour to get there. Once at the scene, she found her husband dead with a gunshot wound to his abdomen, and the white male suspect, also deceased, was observed with a gun in his lap.
“It was me that had to perform CPR on my husband in a pool of blood. I shouldn’t have been the one; I shouldn’t have been the one to do that,” she said as she began to cry hysterically. The father of two died in his vehicle less than a mile away from police headquarters. The department is investigating the fatal shooting of Qualin as a homicide. The Gazette confirmed the suspect’s identity as 44-year-old David Karels.
In a statement released to CNN, police said, “We are aware there is information circulating about this case, and we understand the concerns and questions that arise as a result. We will continue to gather all relevant details about Mr. Campbell’s death and ensure the accuracy of our findings.”
Civil rights attorney Harry Daniels, who is based in Atlanta, is representing the Campbell family. “The Colorado Springs Police Department and El Paso County can make all the excuses they want, but the facts are simple. This was a hostage situation where Qualin Campbell was begging for his life,” he said in a statement. “His wife called 911, [and] the police were less than a mile away, but they never responded. Let’s be clear: if the police don’t respond to a hostage situation, none of us are safe.”
The married couple of seven years were originally from Newnan, Georgia, but relocated to Colorado with their two young daughters last year. A GoFundMe with a $30,000 goal was launched to help with financial obligations. A news report of the tragic situation can be viewed below.
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