Tia Hernlen, who was five years old at the time, when she was forced to make a tragic 911 call—that no kid should ever have to make. Her brave actions that horrible morning made a horrible situation public and moved people’s hearts all throughout the country.

Critical Night for Tia Hernlen

The gunfire started early on March 31, 2005, a Thursday, in the dead of night in Florida. The terrifying noises emanating from her parent’s bedroom frightened Tia Hernlen, who was only five years old, into wakefulness.

Her parents had been shot, and she discovered this horrifying fact when she went to check on them. Aeneas Hernlen, her father, had passed away previously. Julie Hernlen, her mother, was barely hanging on and would die shortly after.

In a state of helplessness, Tia dialed 911. Millions of people have now listened to the courageous young girl and the emergency dispatcher’s wonderfully composed exchange.

Tia Hernlen

Tia Hernlen’s 911 Call

Tia Hernlen informs the dispatcher that she heard gunshots throughout the conversation and believes her parents are dead. She acknowledges that there is blood on the floor in a quiet voice. Tia responds that she doesn’t see a gun in the house but that she is afraid when asked who has one. The dispatcher is asked to “send a deputy down here” by her.

The dispatcher is amazed by how smart and articulate Tia is for a 5-year-old during the entire call. The cars in the driveway and her pets inside the house are among the important information she shares about the circumstance. Lizzah, her black Labrador, and her three cats are discussed.

By talking to Tia about her bedroom, school, and pets, the dispatcher tries to calm her down. She answers every qustion, going so far as to describe Lizzah’s eye color and the hues of her home. Across the country, her amazing composure in the face of such horror aroused indignation and sympathy. Click Here

Text of Tia Hernlen’s 911 Call

The discussion Tia Hernlen had when she called 911 to ask for assistance during the tragedy is available here:

Tia: I think my parents are dead.

Operator: Can you explain what actually happened?

Tia: I’m not sure.

Operator: What is your age, and where are you right now?

Tia: I’m 5 years old, at home with my dog.

Operator: I will dispatch assistance. Have you noticed anything weird?

Tia: Yes, there’s some blood in the room.

Operator: Where exactly?

Tia: On a plant and the floor.

Operator: Are your pets with you?

Tia: Yes, a dog and three cats.

Operator: Are you alone with your parents?

Tia: They’re not responding to me.

Operator: Stay on the line. What’s your name?

Tia: (provides name)

Operator: What woke you up?

Tia: I heard a loud noise, maybe a gunshot.

Operator: Did you see a gun?

Tia: No gun, but I found a bullet.

Operator: We’ll ensure your safety. Have you seen anyone else in the house?

Tia: No, just us.

Operator: Is the house secure?

Tia: I heard the noise and got up.

Operator: Describe where you are.

Tia: In a white and brown house with a white door.

Operator: Do your parents have a car?

Tia: Yes, a Toyota Corolla and a Jeep.

Operator: An officer is arriving. Can you open the door?

Tia: Yes, I can.

Tia Hernlen Looking For Justice

When police arrived following the call, they discovered that Tia Hernlen’s parents, Aeneas and Julie Hernlen, had both died from gunshot wounds. David Edward Johnson, a neighbor, was identified as the murderer. He had mistakenly assumed that the couple had informed the authorities about his illegal marijuana cultivation operation several months prior.

Johnson shot both parents when he stormed into the Hernlen home, leaving 5-year-old Tia orphaned before she even started kindergarten, all because of this crazy conviction. Johnson subsequently committed suicide, depriving the bereaved community of justice.

The Hernlens pursued a restraining order against Johnson because of his frightening and intimidating behavior, as was recently disclosed. When it came to cases of physical violence or continuous stalking, the court presiding over the case finally rejected their request, citing a dearth of serious proof. This particular court case highlights the inherent difficulties people encounter when attempting to obtain protection inside the judicial system.

Tia Hernlen’s Courage

Many peoples were inspired by Tia Hernlen’s Courage in the face of such misery. Despite having recently lost both of her parents, little Tia managed to remain composed and intelligent, as evidenced by the 911 recording.

Tia’s art of courage was commended by the investigating sheriff for her poised demeanor during the call. She was clearly wise beyond her five short years of life, judging by her ability to convey important details, he stated.

For the incredible larger part of the exposed survivors of unnecessary weaponry, Tia turned into an image. Her story filled in as a horrible advance notice of the general mischief that a solitary demonstration of brutal displeasure can cause to a family.


Never underestimate a kid’s natural strength — the story of Tia Hernlen fills in as an update. Tia achieved more balance and shrewdness quite early on than numerous grown-ups will at any point be aware, in spite of her humble height. The striking demonstration of normal grit that was her emergency call will live on in memory.

By Nairobi