It was six years ago this week when five members of an Omaha family died in a bloody shooting. For the first time, the only survivor opens up to Channel 6 News about the night that shattered everything.
“What's your emergency?” asked the 911 operator.
“I'm dying, I've been shot,” came the reply.
Six years ago, a family home near 120th Street and West Center Road turned into a house of horror. Has Linda Wilkinson been able to have any moments of happiness since it happened? "I'd say no."
Wilkinson remembers every detail of that Sunday night. “Richard had taken me out to dinner before I left for work. He seemed fine. No indication of anything like that." She left for work about 10 p.m. “Everybody was sleeping. It was peaceful.”
Less than three hours later, her husband Richard shot their daughter Jaime Lee, Jaime's husband Jason and her two grandsons, who were only 3 and 5 years of age. “I'd known him for 27 years and I did not ever think he would do something like that. We had a very good marriage. I just thought no, this can't be happening."
Does she know what happened in the house that night? “I know Jason was shot first. I was told he was shot several times in the heart. The boys were shot once. Jaime was the last one to die.”
Their daughter Jaime was 26. Her dad shot her five times. She was still alive and called 911 for help. “I'm dying, I've been shot.”
“Is the person that shot you still around?” asked the 911 operator.
“Yes, it's my dad." She stayed on the phone with 911 operators for 23 agonizing minutes. “Please help me.” As police pulled up to the house, Richard shot himself.
Linda admits Jaime and her dad had problems for years. “One time he even called the police to try and get her in trouble because she had taken a Coke." Police were called to their home several times. “There was shouting, arguing, police there. That was so embarrassing.”
Richard wasn't close to his grandsons, either. “He just didn't pay attention to them.” At one point, Richard even demanded his own grandson could not carry on the family name. “Michael's last name was Wilkinson. He did not like that at all.” She says Oak Valley, the school her grandson Michael attended, planted a tree in his honor.
Linda says that despite the tension there was never any violence before that night. She had no idea he would reach that point. "No, not to that.”
Linda says to this day she wishes she was in the house that night. “I would have tried to convince him, take us if you have to do this.” Because six years later her family is gone. “I don't know if it was planned or if something just set him off.”
She is left alone wondering why. “I was so happy then, happy to be married, happy to have Jaime. I'm gone one night and it's all gone."
Linda has been in counseling and hopes that by sharing her story it will help her to move on. “I think about it night and day. I think about them, they are never off my mind."