Johnston County EMS is reviewing a call where a man was declared dead when he was actually alive. That man is alive and well today.
Questions are being raised about the alleged actions of medical workers who were reportedly told several times a man they had declared dead was still breathing and showed signs of life. However, bystanders pleas that the man was breathing were reportedly ignored.
Around 2:00am on January 1st, 2017, Selma EMS and a Johnston County EMS paramedic supervisor responded to a shooting call on Elizabeth Street. Emergency crews arrived to find 28 year-old Kendrick Kendrel Chrisp lying on the deck of a home suffering from a gunshot wound.
First responders reportedly found Chrisp barely breathing. Life saving measures including CPR were initiated but after a short while they discontinued and Chrisp was pronounced dead. What happened next is the focus of an internal investigation by Johnston County EMS and a local medical review board.
According to an emergency worker at the scene, who spoke with JoCoReport.com on the condition of anonymity, that after EMS stopped life saving measures and declared Chrisp dead a witness reported they saw Chrisp’s chest “rising and falling”. The witness said a paramedic was told the man was still breathing but the medical worker allegedly dismissed the claims saying it was where chest compressions had been performed on him earlier.
About a minute later, Chrisp, who again has been declared dead, put his hands over his head and moaned. A witness allegedly told a paramedic “You better do something” but the medical worker reportedly replied the man was going to die anyway. The witness told JoCoReport.com his first thought was, “Are you God now?”
The witness said another minute or two passed with Chrisp’s chest still rising and falling. He then turned on his right side. A paramedic was told a third time the victim was alive. The emergency worker allegedly replied, “He is going to bleed to death internally no matter where we take him.”
By now, Chrisp had grabbed a porch railing and was trying to pull himself up.
Paramedics then loaded Chrisp into an ambulance where he was rushed to WakeMed and underwent emergency surgery. After several weeks in the hospital Chrisp was discharged.
“They gave up on the guy,” the witness told JoCoReport.com. “I can still see him laying there.”
“I don’t think anybody wanted to do anything to be totally honest with you, and I don’t know why,” the witness said. “If I got shot would they give up on me that easily?”
According to public records obtained from the Johnston County 911 Center, CPR was stopped on the victim at 2:29am. At 2:45am the ambulance crew told dispatchers they were on their way to WakeMed with the patient. What happened during those 16 minutes is at the center of the investigation.
Privacy Laws Prevent EMS Officials From Commenting
Johnston County EMS Division Chief Josh Holloman said due to patient privacy laws there was little he could say about the allegations.
Holloman confirmed Johnston County EMS responded to assist Selma EMS on the call. “Although we cannot share details of patient care due to patient privacy laws, Johnson County EMS in coordination with the Office of Medical Director provides an audit and evaluation of every call and we consider it our mission to provide the highest quality emergency care.”
We requested to speak to the paramedic at the center of the allegations. Holloman denied our request to interview the paramedic.
Selma Police turned over a report to us about the shooting incident but it did not contain details about the dead man who turned out to be alive. Chief R.A. Cooper said the department has no further comment on the matter.
As for Chrisp, Selma Police obtained a warrant for his arrest last week charging him with attempted breaking and entering following the January 1st shooting. At last report he was still at large. The homeowner, a man confined to a wheelchair, who shot Chrisp will not be charged.
Chrisp is a convicted felon having served more than 2-1/2 years in prison for a 2011 robbery in Kenly. In 2010, Chrisp was shot in the leg during an altercation on North Raiford Street in Selma. Photos courtesy John Payne