911 CALL: Suicide suspected before Hewett’s death

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The audio of first responders’ radio traffic and those initial 911 calls about Ron Hewett’s death were released Monday.

An initial release said Hewett died just after 2 p.m. Saturday. However, the first 911 call from the jail didn’t come in until 2:57.

A Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Monday night it’s unclear when Hewett died, but it was sometime between 2 and 3.

On those 911 calls a confused officer tells 911 dispatch that he believes a suicide attempt has happened, and that is why they need EMS to come to the jail.

Former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett was being taken out of administrative segregation, where he was held for his own safety. New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon says Hewett’s mother and girlfriend were there to visit him, a visit that wouldn’t happen.

Before Hewett died sources say he was tased.

“At this point I can’t go into details about the investigation,” New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon said. The calls came in, the sheriff said, after what he called an incident with a detention officer.

McMahon told us he couldn’t elaborate on the details of what happened as it remains under investigation by the SBI.

Hewett had shown signs of instability before.

During recorded phone calls at the peak of an investigation into his conduct.

“Ain’t no bringin’ me back up,” Hewett said in one of those recordings released in 2008. “I’m looking for a bank robbery in (expletive) progress. That’s what I want.”

Hewett was implying he was considering suicide or that he might die in a shoot-out.

McMahon said the Hewett he remembered was not the Hewett he saw in jail.

“The Ron Hewett that I knew was probably what the majority of the community knew,” McMahon said. “A man who had given most of his life to the community to help keep it safe.”

An autopsy was performed Monday. Hewett’s cause of death remains unknown.

The 911 calls never mention Hewett’s name but were given to us after a request for the audio related to Hewett’s death.

Categories: New Hanover

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