Witness Describes 911 Call For Deadly Assault, Fire
Passerby Calls For Help After Elderly Couple Is Assaulted, Home Set On Fire
Omaha, NE- On Thursday, a deadly assault and fire killed an elderly man and critically injured his wife.
Two 911 calls were made. One was for a house fire, and the other was for an assault.
On Friday night, the neighbor who called 911 told KMTV about the frightening scene at 33rd St. and Martin Ave.
Gary Burns said Thursday started like any other day. He said he ran some errands and then drove home, but that's when his ordinary day ended.
"I see an old lady outside with no shirt on," said Burns. "(She was) bloody head to toe, and she was trying to cover up with a recycling bin."
Burns said he saw the suspect, Terrance Hale.
"She said, 'Help me,' and then she said, 'He did it,'" said Burns. "(The suspect) was kind of shocked and looked at me. Then he said, 'Call 911.' He kept telling me, 'I didn't do this. I didn't do this.' She kept pointing at him (and said), 'You did it. You started it. You did it.'"
Burns said he walked toward Elizabeth Vasholz and Hale and then called 911.
"I didn't see the fire," said Burns. "She was on the neighbors' stoop. Then when I was talking to 911 they said someone had previously placed a call one minute before that. They asked me if there was a fire, and I said no there is not a fire. The old lady was saying, 'My husband is inside.'"
As Burns hung up, he saw smoke coming out of the door.
"I wish I had known right when I got here the fire was going on so maybe I could have done more," said Burns. "I didn't want to leave him and her alone together either, but that's really about it. It keeps replaying in my mind."
Medics took Elizabeth and her husband, Raymond, to different hospitals. They were both in critical condition.
Raymond died on Thursday.
Hale now faces charges of arson, burglary and murder.
"(I'm) worried about her," said Burns. "Hopefully she pulls through, and hopefully she is OK. I just can't believe things like that would happen."
Elizabeth is still in critical condition. Police said they will not release anymore details until they speak with her.
Hale remains at the Douglas County Jail without bond..