Jonathan Shell, a veteran D.C. homicide detective, said the 911 call is one he is unable to forget.
It was a frantic call from Stephanie Goodloe’s 11-year-old daughter, pleading for help after the girl was awakened by gunshots and her mother’s screams on June 19.
“I’m going to be haunted by that phone call,” Shell told a D.C. Superior Court judge Friday.
Shell testified at the preliminary hearing for Donald Hairston, 49, who was charged with first-degree murder while armed in the shooting death of Goodloe, his former girlfriend. Police did not release the girl’s name.
The detective told Judge Florence Pan it was Goodloe’s daughter, who referred to Hairston as her stepfather, who identified Hairston as her mother’s shooter.
Shell said the girl was in a nearby bedroom at around 1:25 a.m. when she was awakened by a shot, then heard her mother scream, “What are you doing?” That cry was followed by three more gunshots.
Goodloe, 40, was shot four times as she lay in her bed. Shell described a crime scene photo that showed Goodloe in her bed with a bullet wound to her head, one to her wrist, her armpit and another to her shoulder.
Shell, who spoke softly, told the judge that Goodloe’s daughter said she saw Hairston running past her bedroom wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, one she had seen Hairston wear when they lived together as a family for about eight years. She ran into her mother’s room, saw her mother’s body, grabbed the phone and ran into a nearby bathroom, Shell said, afraid the shooter would harm her as well.
The 911 operator, Shell testified, “repeatedly” told Goodloe’s daughter to go into her mother’s bedroom and check on her to see if there was any sign of life.
“When you listen to the call and hear the terror in her voice,” Shell said, before the judge ordered him to refrain from commenting on the child’s voice.
Goodloe, who lived with her daughter in the 700 block of Kentucky Avenue SE, had taken out a restraining order against Hairston two weeks before she was killed, according to court records. Goodloe wrote in her application for a restraining order that on June 4 Hairston came to her house, banged on the door and shouted for her to come outside. She said he returned three times, and when she finally left her house, she found the tires slashed on her vehicle.
Shell testified that Hairston’s girlfriend told police that she and Hairston went to a movie and then back to their home together in District Heights. The detective testified the girlfriend told police she and Hairston argued over a woman sending him text messages, but that Hairston was with her the entire night. But the vehicle that Hairston was driving was tagged by an electronic license plate reader entering the District just after midnight and returning into Maryland at 1:29 a.m.
Hairston’s court-appointed attorney, Mani Golzari, argued there was no evidence that proved his client was in the house at the time of Goodloe’s death, and that Goodloe’s daughter was sleeping at the time of the shooting and caught only a glimpse of the attacker.
Pan said she found enough evidence to order Hairston to remain jailed until trial.