KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Ann and George Taylor had been left for dead in their basement but Ann Taylor managed to get to a telephone and call 911.
"Help," she told the dispatcher while managing to give her address. "Shotgun."
And then the line went dead just before 1 p.m. Tuesday.
As dispatchers relayed this horrifying news to Kansas City police officers and ambulance crews, Brandon Howell allegedly had left the Taylor home that he burglarized.
Witnesses and authorities say Howell was trying to start the couple's beloved Jaguar but was having trouble.
Suspicious neighbors sought to alert authorities. When Howell couldn't start the Jag, he allegedly managed to get the keys to the Taylors' Toyota Highland.
As he was leaving the neighborhood, the suspect stopped and got out of the SUV. Armed with a shotgun, he confronted Susan Choucroun, 69, who had left her home. Howell allegedly pulled out his shotgun and shot Choucroun once. She collapsed and would die in her own driveway.
Officers arriving at the typically quiet cul-de-sac found the garage doors open to the Taylors' and Choucroun's homes. After finding the Taylors desperately clinging to life and Choucroun dead, officers began a door-to-door search for other victims and suspects.
At the home of 88-year-old Lorene Hurst, they found her shot dead along with her 63-year-old son, Darrel, who was visiting her as he did regularly. They were found in the front yard.
One witness described seeing the suspect leaving in the Taylors' SUV. The suspect was wearing a hoodie-style jacket with the hood pulled over his head.
A shotgun shell was found at one of the crime scenes.
Howell is being held in the Jackson County jail on 12 felony charges including three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault. Prosecutors will weigh whether to see the first death penalty case in Jackson County since 2006.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James said the events of Tuesday have changed the neighborhood.
"The events are going to leave a scar on a peaceful neighborhood probably forever," James said.
Indeed, the Woodbridge Homeowners Association is planning a vigil and memorial for the victims. The events have also brought shaken neighbors closer together as they check up on each other.
Jim Anderson saw Choucroun shot and called 911.
"I'm sure he was going to shoot anybody that saw him," Anderson said.
Vicky Gruver came home to find her door kicked in by police. She said the violence is unexplainable.
"This was so randomly stupid to just shoot people," she said.
She mourned the loss and injuries to lovely people who went about their normal lives being kind and good to all.
Some residents are now discussing gating the community as well as meetings with police.