911 CALL: ECU researcher pleads for help after getting shot seven times

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Chilling audio was revealed in a 911 call made nearly two weeks ago by an East Carolina University research scientist who was shot on a Greenville street.

Despite being hit seven times by gunfire, Andrew Readyoff was able to call 911 himself.

“Help, I need an ambulance. I’ve been shot near the elementary school,” Readyoff told the dispatcher.

WITN obtained the 911 recording after making a public records request last week with Pitt County.

Police say the 27-year-old man was walking down East 5th Street on February 28th around 8:30 a.m. when he was shot near Wahl-Coates Elementary School.

“I’ve been shot, I’ve been shot multiple times, I’ve been shot, a man on a bike, Black man, help, help, help, help.”

With that information, Greenville police say they were able to confront Savell Hightower a couple blocks away. Police say Hightower pulled out his gun and first fired on two officers who then returned fire. Hightower, nor the officers were hit in that gunfire.

A search warrant said Hightower admitted to shooting Readyoff, adding that he was poisoned and “the only way to live was to find a sacrifice.”

Back up the street, Readyoff was still on his phone with 911 when first responders arrived to help him.

“Where are you shot?” asked a first responder. “All over the place,” Readyoff told them.

The man was taken to ECU Health Medical Center, and eight days later he met with Greenville Police Chief Ted Sauls who hailed him as a hero for the details that helped officers to the suspected shooter.

Hightower remains in jail on a $6.175 million bond. Records show he has his next court appearance tomorrow.

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