“My mom just killed us.”
So began 11-year-old Brian Eik’s call to emergency dispatchers the night his mother shot him, his younger brother and then herself inside a GMC Yukon parked on a deserted gravel road.
Seconds after Debra Eik ended her own life with a bullet to the head, her surviving son picked up her cellular telephone and dialed 911.
“I don’t know what happened. She shot us with a gun,” the Spokane Valley boy cried into the phone the night of Nov. 1. “I don’t know where we really are. Help me.”
For the next 30 minutes, dispatchers kept the bleeding sixth-grader on the line while frantic deputies scoured the Valley looking for him, according to a recording of the call made public Friday.
Despite being wounded and in shock, Brian was remarkably calm for most of the call. He described his surroundings as best he could and tried to remember what route his mother traveled in the hours before the shooting.
“He’s an exceptionally brave, exceptionally bright young man,” sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan said. “He was able to put aside his own pain, his own fear and comply with (the dispatcher’s) instructions.”
At one point, Brian got out of the car to get the license plate number. He gave his address to dispatchers, spelling out the name of his street: Cimmaron.
He also leaned over his mother’s body to turn on the Yukon’s hazards lights, even though he said he was afraid she might wake up and shoot him again.
“You’re doing a good job, Brian,” one of the operators told him.
At other times, he was overwhelmed by the enormity of the situation. “God, how could this be happening to me?” he said. “Is this real, or is this just a dream?”
In a calm voice, the woman answered, “Well, honey, I think it’s real.”
When deputies finally found the Yukon on Vicari Road near state Highway 27, 39-year-old Debra Eik and her 6-year-old son, Brandon, were dead. A pistol lay on the front floorboard.
Brian was alive, but bleeding badly from a gunshot wound in his chest.
“They’re here, they’re here,” he yelled into the phone when he saw lights from an approaching sheriff’s cruiser, euphoria raising his voice an octave. “Oh, thank you, thank you.”
“Get off the phone, go to them,” the dispatcher said.
“OK,” he answered. “Bye.”
Detectives still don’t know what set Debra Eik off that night, and they probably never will, sheriff’s Lt. John Simmons said Friday.
Ed Eik, the boy’s father, could not be reached for comment Friday. Brian was released from the hospital several weeks ago and reportedly returned to school recently.
During his conversation with emergency operators the night of the shooting, Brian said his mother “was on some type of pills” and may have planned to stay in a motel that night. There were sleeping bags in the Yukon, he said.
An operator trying to pinpoint the Yukon’s location asked Brian whether his mother told him where they were going as she drove around the Valley.
“She said I was going to hell,” he answered.