Shortly after midnight Monday, Pasco County 911 dispatchers received a chilling call.
"My mom is shot," said the wavering voice of a young man. "My mom was shot."
Though not identified, deputies say 14-year-old Mark Price had run out of his house on 17364 Terrazo Way in Land O’ Lakes after hearing a gunshot and finding his mother, Samantha Keithley, shot to death.
Sometime near midnight, authorities say, Keithley, 33, was fatally shot by her husband, Kirk Keithley, a 39-year-old Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy. He then turned the gun on himself and died by suicide.
Over the course of 5-1/2 minutes, Price, Samantha Keithley’s son from a previous marriage, haltingly described the horror he had witnessed.
"I’m running down the street," he told a male dispatcher. "Please help me."
"I need you to repeat the address to make sure I am sending help to the right location, okay?" the dispatcher responded.
"Oh my god, my stepdad just shot my mom in the head," Price pleaded. "Please help me."
The dispatcher tried several times to get Price to spell the name of his street.
Price explained that he was headed to a friend’s house and the dispatcher asked him to describe what happened.
"My stepdad and mom had been arguing for a night and she went to a hotel and she came back and I heard them arguing and I heard a gunshot and I walked outside and I saw her, she was bloody, and I saw her dead," said Price, who then went to a friend’s house.
The dispatcher then asked a series of questions.
"When did this happen?"
"About five minutes ago," said Price. "I don’t know."
The dispatcher asked Price to describe the weapon.
"It was a gun," he said. "I heard a gunshot. I walked outside and my mom was dead."
As the dispatcher asked more questions, Price began to cry.
"Where are the weapons now?" the dispatcher asked.
"I have no clue," said Price.
"Do you know where your stepdad is?"
"No," Price answered. "I ran outside as fast as I could."
The dispatcher asked Price to describe his stepdad, who he hadn’t named. After answering the questions, he cried out again.
"He just shot my mom in the head," said Price. "My stepdad shot my mom in the head."
Then the line went dead.
"He hung up on me," said the dispatcher.
Dispatchers tried calling, to no avail, but finally, Price called back, explaining that his phone had stopped working.
His friend’s father took over the call and let the dispatcher know that Price was with him and having a hard time.
"He has got two young stepsisters right in front of the house," said the male voice.
The Keithleys were married about six years, a family friend said Monday. They each brought a child into the marriage and had two more together. Deputies would find all of the children safe.
"Is he still there?" a female dispatcher asked about Price?"
"Yup," said the caller. "He is still here."
"Is he okay?" the dispatcher asked.
"He’s alright, physically," the man said. "Physically, he’s alright."
Contact Howard Altman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman