9-1-1 call released in death of Native American man

The chilling and emotional 9-1-1 call from the wife of a murdered Native American icon was released Friday. 78-year-old Jess Sixkiller was gunned down in his own home last week.

His wife was in another room, she heard the gunshots and called for help. During the call, she discovered her husband's body.

The call was released the same day family, friends, and the community are scheduled to pay their final respects to the American Indian icon, known for fighting for the rights of urban Native Americans.

A memorial will begin at 6 p.m. at the Heard Museum in downtown Phoenix. Jess Sixkiller was a member of the Cherokee Nation, and he will be remembered in a traditional Cherokee ceremony.

Tammy Sixkiller had been married to her husband, Jess for 58 years. Family members say she is battling cancer, and doctors say she only has a few more months to live. No one imagined she would mourn her husband's death first. She was in another bedroom the night Jess Sixkiller was gunned down in their own home.

Tammy: "Somebody burst in our house, in our house, I'm in the back bedroom, and I'm in the dark, I turned off all my lights."
9-1-1 Operator: "Somebody shot at your house?"
Tammy: "In the house, it sounded like they burst open the door."

It's apparent when Tammy first called for help, she did not see what happened.

Tammy: "My husband's in another bedroom, I hope he didn't get up, I hope it wasn't him, that was shot. I don't know what's going on; I don't know if they're still in the house or nearby."
9-1-1 Operator: "Are you hearing any noises?"
Tammy: "I don't hear anymore noises, I'm really worried about my husband."
9-1-1 Operator: "Ok stay on the line with me ok."

The 9-1-1 operator told Tammy that officers are outside the home. As she remained on the line, she made the grisly discovery.

9-1-1 Operator: "Just say on the line with me, I'll let you know when it's ok to come out."
Tammy: (screaming)
9-1-1 Operator: "What's going on, your husbands on the bedroom floor?"
Tammy: "Yes."
9-1-1 Operator: "Ok go to the officers ma'am."

Phoenix Police have very little to go on; there is a $1,000 reward in the case. Sixkiller's memorial will start at 6 p.m. Friday inside the Steele Auditorium that seats more than 400 people.