DAYTON — An argument about a gaming system, prompted by an accusation that the game had been hidden, and a decision by Dayton police officers to not remove one of the people in the argument ended in the deaths of a mother, her daughter and the man accused of shooting them and taking his own life in late June.
The police department’s Professional Standards Bureau is reviewing body cam video from the two officers who were sent to a home in the 300 block of Burleigh Avenue early on the morning of June 23 in response to a concern about possible domestic violence. News Center 7 obtained a copy of the video from the police department and Reporter Mike Campbell spoke with police about it Thursday.
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The video shows officers speaking with Aisha Nelson, 31, who had reached out to police dispatchers three times earlier that night. She and her 6-year-old daughter, Harper Monroe, would be found dead in the home hours later.
The man who shot them -- identified as 32-year-old Waverly Dante Rashad Hawes and Nelson’s live-in boyfriend -- would be found several hours after police discovered Nelson and Monroe. Hawes is believed to have shot himself to death in Falkville, Alabama, according to police and a coroner in that state.
In the video, the two police officers respond to the home on Burleigh Avenue about 2 in the morning. Nelson tells them she’s called three times, but did not want officers to come to her home.
When the officers hear Hawes, the male officer heads to the basement to speak with him. Nelson’s daughter was in the home, as was Hawes’s 9-year-old daughter who was not injured in the shooting.
Hawes had also called police but apparently only after he realized Nelson had called three times. He also complained about a gaming system.
“I don’t know what she did with my PS5 [PlayStation 5]. She hid my PS5. I let it slide. I’m not going to say anything about it.”
The male officer believed he had convinced Hawes to remain in the basement and stay away from Nelson…so he headed back outside.
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At some point after the male officer and Hawes speak, Nelson tells the officers Hawes is “walking around the house, waving the gun that I purchased. He didn’t state making any threats last night until he had the gun.... All this in front of my daughter, that’s the issue that I have.”
The officers step away for a moment to try to decide what to do, but struggle with the fact they don’t believe there are explicit threats and Nelson clearly doesn’t want to leave the residence, apparently even if Hawes stays.
One of the officers can be heard to say, “It would be a stretch. We could articulate [it] as domestic threats and take him to jail.”
Nelson asks the officers if they can make Hawes leave for the night. But she makes it clear she doesn’t want him to go into the system [be arrested and detained in jail].
They tell her they can’t make him leave and that’s how the situation is left.
About 11 a.m. on June 23, Nelson and Monroe are found shot to death. Police had been dispatched to the address on a call from a woman asking police to check on a person who lives in the home, according to dispatch records. Police believed the homicides occurred sometime between 3 and 4 a.m.
On the afternoon of June 23, Hawes is found shot to death in Alabama. He was in a vehicle Morgan County sheriff’s deputies and Falkville police found through pings to his mobile phone GPS, The Decatur Daily in Falkville reported.
The video will be a key part of the evaluation into the investigation of what happened, Dayton Police Maj. Brian Johns told News Center 7′s Campbell.
“We will have a clear indication at that point if our policies were all followed on how that call was handled,” the major said.
In the meantime, Campbell said Nelson’s mother told him she has retained legal representation to protect her interests.
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