Colorado Springs PD Accused of Failing to Respond to Black Man Being Held Hostage Before He was Found Shot to Death in Murder-Suicide Case

Talija and Qualin Campbell
Talija and Qualin Campbell (left) and a screenshot of the text messages Talija received from her husband. Twitter

A woman who received a desperate text from her husband indicating he had been taken hostage said Tuesday that she called 911 but that police did not respond until about an hour later, by which time he had been shot and killed.

On its online police blotter, the Colorado Springs Police Department said it found two deceased adult males on Friday at the location that Talija Campbell said she feared her husband Qualin Campbell was being held by another man. It said the officers responded to a report of a shooting there at 2:09 p.m.

"The Colorado Springs Police Department Homicide Unit continued the investigation. Currently, there are no threats to the community," according to the crime blotter, which is titled: "Suspicious Circumstances."

'911' 'Send Please!'

Talija Campbell said she called 911 just after 1 p.m. when her husband, a father of two, texted his location and a photo of a man sitting next to him in his car. Then he sent messages saying "911" and "Send Please!" She called the emergency number. Talija shared screenshots of the messages she received.

Campbell said she told one dispatcher that she believed her husband had been taken hostage, described his car and his location, which was about a mile away from the headquarters of the Colorado Springs Police Department. She was then transferred to a dispatcher responsible for taking Colorado Springs calls.

The first dispatcher briefed the second dispatcher on what Campbell reported, she said, before Campbell said she explained what she knew again to the second dispatcher. The dispatcher said an officer would check it out and get back to her but there was no sense of urgency, Campbell said, so she drove to the location herself.

Second Man Identified as David Karels

When she arrived Campbell said she immediately recognized her husband's company car in a parking lot. She said when she saw her husband slumped over inside the car alongside another man, she fell to her knees and started screaming.

Campbell said she decided to open the door to try to save her husband, who had been bleeding, but found no pulse on his neck or wrist. She said her husband's uncle, who also went to the scene, called police to report that Qualin was dead. The other man, identified as David Karels, had a gun in his lap and was also confirmed as deceased.

Campbell's Lawyer: Police Failed to Help Someone 'Begging for His Life'

When asked about Campbell's 911 call and the police response to it, police spokesman Robert Tornabene said he couldn't comment because there was an "open and active criminal investigation" into the deaths.

Campbell's lawyer, Harry Daniels, said he wants answers from the department about why it did not respond to her call, saying Qualin Campbell might still be alive if they had.

"I can't think of anything that could take higher precedence than a hostage situation, except maybe an active shooter," he said.

Daniels told KKTV that police failed to help someone who was "begging for his life."

"The Colorado Springs Police Department and El Paso County can make all the excuses they want, but the facts are simple," Daniels said. "This was a hostage situation where Qualin Campbell was begging for his life, his wife called 911, the police were less than a mile away but they never responded. Let's be clear. If the police don't respond to a hostage situation, none of us are safe."


A GoFundMe page has been set up Talija to help support the family in the wake of Qualin's death.
"Talija and Qualin share a beautiful love story and were married seven years. She and their two daughters relied on Qualin to provide for the family. His family are having to cope with the untimely and unexpected death of their husband, father and provider," the description read.

Talija and Qualin Campbell
Talija and Qualin Campbell Facebook

"Qualin's family is devastated and will have to pull together to face this tragedy and deal with the emotional, physical and financial effects from him unexpectedly taken from them," it continues. "This family needs YOU. Please help support Qualins' family in any way you can. If you can't donate, please share the link on all of your social platforms.