911 Audio Released in Jesup Murder-Suicide Case
JESUP, Iowa - The gun that a Texas doctor used to kill his ex-girlfriend and himself in Iowa earlier this year was illegally bought and sold, a prosecutor said Wednesday as he released chilling audio of a 911 call that provided new details about how the murder-suicide unfolded.
Buchanan County Attorney Shawn Harden said radiologist Timothy Roses purchased the 9-mm handgun privately two years ago from a work colleague in Waterloo. He said the sale was illegal because Roses, a resident of Plano, Texas, who worked several months of the year at a hospital in Waterloo, did not have a permit to acquire a gun in Iowa.
Harden said it would be up to federal prosecutors to determine whether to charge the seller with violating a federal law that bars private individuals from knowingly selling weapons to unlicensed persons from out-of-state. He said the seller is "absolutely devastated" the gun was used in the murder of Roses' ex-girlfriend, 22-year-old Lindsay Nichols, but was also aware Roses was not permitted.
"It would be my preference that charges would be filed," Harden said. "He legally could not purchase a gun in Iowa."
Roses used the weapon to kill Nichols on March 21 after following her to her new boyfriend's home in Jesup, about 15 miles east of Waterloo, before turning the gun on himself. Harden's office on Wednesday released audio recordings of a 911 call made by Chase Weber, Nichols' boyfriend, as the shooting unfolded in the street outside his home.
Weber told the dispatcher that a man in a truck had pulled up behind Nichols, and the two were arguing. He said he believed the man was Nichols' ex-boyfriend and that he was armed.
"Can you hurry please?" he said.
"Pardon me?" the dispatcher responded.
"Hurry, please! They are arguing very loudly. He has a gun."
The dispatcher assured Weber that police were on their way and scolded him, "You don't need to be yelling at me." Weber apologized. Within seconds, a gunshot can be heard on the call.
"Oh my god, she's been shot! Oh my god! What should I do? Should I yell at him?" Weber said. About 20 seconds later, a second gunshot is heard on the call and Weber says, "Oh my god, he's down. I think he shot himself."
Harden said Roses fired three shots, though only two are heard on the call. He said the first struck Nichols in the chest from just feet away, went through her and ricocheted off the truck. The second shot, Harden said, likely was fired seconds later by accident and can't be heard because of screaming on the call and hit the ground. The third shot went through Roses' heart from point-blank range after he yelled a profanity, he said.
A police officer was soon on the scene, and Weber was frantically trying to get Nichols medical treatment. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators said the 44-year-old Roses, who was married, met Nichols while she was a radiography student at the local hospital, and they'd broken up a month before the shootings. Nichols had updated her Facebook page hours before her death to reflect her relationship with Weber, and authorities have said that might have caused Roses to snap.
Harden said the dispatcher, a 20-year veteran, told him the call was the most intense she had ever experienced and has struggled with whether she was perhaps "a little too gruff" when she told Weber not to yell at her. He said she was doing her best in a chaotic situation and noted that help was on the scene within minutes.
"I'm sure it was a horrible experience for her as well," he said. "I think she probably got caught up in the moment."
Harden said testing by the Division of Criminal Investigation laboratory confirmed the shell casings discovered at the scene were fired from the same gun. He said he believed DCI reports from the case would soon be shared with federal prosecutors so "they can make a full evaluation" and determine whether to charge the seller.
Peter Deegan, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cedar Rapids, said he could not comment on any pending investigation.