The Maine Department of Public Safety on Friday released written transcripts of the 911 calls involving the murder of Sarah Gordon in Winslow on June 6, shedding new light on the emergency response.

But the transcripts, created in response to an open records request by the Morning Sentinel, still don’t answer a fundamental question: Why were police initially dispatched to the wrong address?

The department has blacked out relevant portions of the transcript in which a dispatcher in Augusta spoke to Sarah Gordon on the phone minutes before she was gunned down outside her house by her husband.

What the transcripts make clear is that the situation was frantic and chaotic when Sarah Gordon called at 7:52 p.m. Her call was followed by calls from three witnesses.

“My husband’s threatening to kill me and my friends,” Sarah Gordon told the dispatcher, in between giving her phone number and address. “He has a gun.”

Public safety officials, in blacking out the street name spoken by Gordon and repeated by the dispatcher, cited state law as prohibiting the release of confidential information, even though the street name has been made public by police officials.

The Morning Sentinel objected on Friday morning to the redaction of the street name, saying state law does not support that. Public safety officials did not respond by 7 p.m. The department has refused to release the audio recordings, citing state law.

What’s not in dispute, say Winslow police who responded to the incident, is that officers were initially sent to 4 Murray Lane, when they should have been sent to 4 Marie St.

Because Sarah Gordon called 911 on a cellphone, the call was picked up by the Central Maine Regional Communications Center in Augusta.

The released transcripts show that Gordon initially told the dispatcher, “Yes, I need a police officer out here, Winslow, (address blacked out).”

“(Address blacked out) in Winslow?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yup,” Gordon replied.

When the call was connected to a dispatcher in Waterville, Sarah Gordon said only “hello” and “yes” twice before the line was disconnected.

Three minutes after Gordon’s initial call came in, the Waterville dispatcher called the Augusta call center back, trying to find out what had happened to the then-unidentified woman and how to reconnect with her.

“No name, just a domestic situation and husband is threatening to kill her,” an Augusta dispatcher said.

At 7:58 p.m., six minutes after Sarah Gordon called 911, a person described in the transcript as a male witness called the Augusta dispatch center, saying “some guy just shot his wife over here on Marie Street.”

“What town?” the dispatcher asked.

“In Winslow,” he replied.

“In Winslow?”

The Augusta dispatcher asked for the address on Marie Street and the caller said “it’s right on the corner of Marie and Beck.”

Shortly after the man was transferred to a Waterville dispatcher, he said, “He just shot her again … he just shot her and now he’s walking down to his house.”

The caller provided a description of the shooter without knowing the identity of Nathaniel Gordon, saying “these are new neighbors that just moved in.”

At 7:59 p.m., a caller described as a female witness called 911, saying the emergency was “on the corner of Marie and Beck Street in Winslow” and “a woman’s been shot, her husband shot her numerous times.” The caller said that the woman was dead.

Just as that call was transferred to Waterville, the Augusta dispatcher asked, “Marie and Clifton right?”

“Marie — Marie and Beck Street,” the caller responded.

There is no Clifton street in Winslow.

At 8:02 p.m., 10 minutes after Sarah Gordon’s 911 call, another woman called 911 to report the shooting, telling the Augusta dispatcher, “It’s taking them forever to get here; she’s lying on the lawn. The cops were just here a little while ago; it’s taking forever.”

The dispatcher said, “They’re on their way ma’am, they are on their way. Do you have any updates for us?”

The caller indicated that she could then see police arriving and couldn’t tell whether the woman was dead.

“I don’t dare go out because I’m afraid I’m going to get shot,” said the caller, who was told by the dispatcher to keep her doors locked.

Then the caller said: “Now they’re not even going to the right place, they’re taking off — going to the wrong place.”

When she was transferred to Waterville, the caller said: “The guy’s running — the guy’s friggin’ running.”

Nathaniel Gordon shot himself later that night after being chased by Maine State Police on the Maine Turnpike in Gray.

In the days after the murder-suicide, Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said Public Safety Commissioner John Morris ordered an inquiry into the confusion over the address. McCausland said Thursday that the inquiry was complete, but he didn’t know its conclusions.

In the aftermath of the case, the Augusta dispatch center adopted two new protocols, said McCausland: Callers are asked to spell out street names if names are in question, and the center uses GPS technology on cellphones, if it’s available, to pinpoint coordinates of the call.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Scott Monroe can be contacted at 861-9239 or at:

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