Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

LISTEN: 911 Dispatcher Talks Man Out of Committing Suicide After Shooting Son, Daughter

Michael League. Family photo.

On March 24, Puyallup, Wa., 911 dispatcher Pamela Mandery received a call from 69-year-old Michael League. “I just committed a father’s worst sin,” League said, before telling Mandery, 43, that he’d just shot his son and daughter. “And now I’m going to shoot myself,” said League.

Mandery remained calm while she asked League questions. “Your training and experience kicks in. My priority first and foremost is officer safety. And then I need to focus on other people, make sure nobody else is getting hurt, or that he doesn’t harm himself,” she later told the Tacoma News Tribune. 

According to authorities, League used a pillow to muffle the sound of gunshots as he shot his adult son and daughter while they slept. He did not want to wake his wife and grandchildren who were asleep upstairs. Throughout the call, League repeats that “it’s because of drugs and alcohol.”

Mandery convinces League to put down his gun and go to the front door to face the officers who are there.

League’s daughter died at the scene and his son died later at the hospital. League has pleaded not guilty to murder.

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