Self-defense, says murder suspect's daughter
Nancy Austin shot Dylan Short the day after Christmas only after Short threatened her and her daughter and then attacked Austin's daughter, the daughter said Monday.
Sarah Austin, 20, said that Short, 20, the father of her 1-year-old son, Carson, showed up unexpectedly at the house she shared with her mother at the end of Tara Place in Whitnel about 4:30 p.m. Dec. 26. Austin said she was surprised to seem him because she already had seen him that morning when she took Carson to Short's mobile home in Hudson that morning, and she had no idea why he would show up that afternoon.
But after he got out of his Chevrolet Cobalt, "He was yelling, saying he wanted me out of the house," Austin said. "I kept telling him to leave."
In a recording of Austin's call to 911, released Monday by the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office, Austin said that Short was threatening her and her mother.
"We kept telling him to leave and he wouldn’t. He kept coming at me and he threw me on the ground. He hit me in the head, and then she fired,” she said in the call.
Austin said Monday that after Short threw her to the ground, he went after Nancy Austin.
"He grabbed her (Nancy Austin), and then I heard two shots fired," she said.
Short died in the driveway from a single gunshot to the head.
Nancy Austin, 57, a former school bus driver for Caldwell County Schools, is charged with murder. A search warrant document said that Sarah Austin took part in the assault, but it did not say how. Sarah Austin has not been charged. The sheriff's office has not released any details of what its investigation has found so far, saying only that the case will be turned over to the district attorney's office when the investigation is complete.
Sarah Austin sought a restraining order against Short on Aug. 27, 2012, claiming Short tackled her to the ground while she was pregnant, held a knife to her and threatened to kill himself. She also said he texted or called her up to 50 times a day over a three-day period that month and planned to buy a 9mm pistol from a co-worker at Shurtape, where he worked as a slitter operator.
But District Court Judge Bob Brady dismissed the request. Court records do not give the reason for the decision.
"I have no idea why it was dismissed, they haven't told me anything," Sarah Austin said Monday.
Sarah Austin was granted sole custody of Carson on March 18, according to court records. Short complained to friends that Austin restricted his access to Carson, but on Christmas he visited with both Carson and another son, 1-month-old Kane, a child he fathered with Lexx Leigh Goble.
Short and Goble were married May 17 in Catawba County. Goble has said that she and Short had some problems, and she moved out of their mobile home about a month before Kane was born.
Sarah Austin said she knew of the marriage but it didn't matter to her because she and Short had ended their relationship.
"I had moved on with my life," she said. "He was mean, I didn't want him around my baby."
A probable cause hearing for Nancy Austin is scheduled for Thursday in Caldwell District Court.
THE 911 CALL
Dispatch: “911, what is your emergency?”
Sarah Austin: “There’s been a shooting.”
Dispatch: "OK, who’s been shot?”
Austin: “My son’s father.”
Dispatch: “Where’s he been shot at?”
Austin: “My house.”
Dispatch: “Where do you live?”
Austin: “1122 Tara Place.”
Dispatch: “Who shot him?”
Austin: “My mom.”
Dispatch: “Where’s you mom at?”
Austin: “She’s outside with him.”
Dispatch: “What happened?”
Austin: “He came here threatening me and my mom. We kept telling him to leave and he wouldn’t. He kept coming at me and he threw me on the ground. He hit me in the head and then she fired.”
Dispatch: “Did she hit him with a pistol, a shotgun, a rifle?”
Dispatch; “Where is he at?”
Austin: “He’s outside laying on the ground.”
Dispatch: “Does she have the gun still?”
Austin: “It’s laying here on the ground.”
Dispatch: “Next to him?”
Austin: “No, beside her.”
Dispatch: “Is she sitting on the porch?”
Dispatch: “What’s your mother doing now?”
Austin: “She’s just sitting there.”
Dispatch: “Tell her to keep her hands in the air where the officer can see them, and do not touch that gun, OK?”
Sarah Austin (to Nancy Austin): “Keep your hands up, where they can see them.”