The Chilling 911 Call Made After Selena Was Murdered

The queen of Tejano music, better known as Selena Quintanilla, was a rising star until her untimely death cut short a thriving career in 1995. Born in Lake Jackson, Texas on April 16, 1971, Selena was the youngest of three children born to Abraham and Marcella Quintanilla. When Selena and her older brother, Abraham Jr., and sister, Suzette, were children, their father — a former musician — formed a band called Selena Y Los Dinos in the early '80s (via Biography). Selena was the lead singer of the band and mostly sang and performed music in Spanish, despite her first language at home being English.

The band would add more members and instrumentalists to the band over the years, including Selena's future husband, Chris Perez (per Biography). She proved to be a major star as a singer, and by the early '90s, it wasn't just Spanish-speaking fans who loved her music. After demonstrating her success as an artist on the Latin music charts, and even scoring a major award at the 1994 Grammys, the singer was preparing to cater more to her English-speaking fans with her first English-language album. Unfortunately, she was murdered at the age of 23 before her album was released.

Selena Quintanilla's final day

On March 31, 1995, Selena went to meet up with the founder and president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldívar. The meeting took place at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas, and happened just a few weeks after Saldívar was fired for reportedly stealing money from the club and Selena's boutiques, per CBS 4. The meeting wouldn't last long as Saldívar shot Selena and killed her. Selena was apparently shot by Saldívar in the motel room but was able to run out to the lobby for help. When she got to the lobby, the receptionists there made the 911 call and reported the shooting.

At the beginning of the call (posted on YouTube), made by a receptionist at the motel, she told the operator that a young woman who looks to be about 20 years old has been shot. Selena was 23 years old at the time and a few weeks from turning 24. During the call, you can also hear various voices in the background, likely other staff and guests trying to process the situation and provide aid to Selena.

Outlets reported that Selena was able to name Saldívar as her shooter when she took her last few breaths (via ABC NY), and on the tape, the clerk can be heard telling the dispatcher that the suspect's name is Yolanda.

The chilling 911 call reporting Selena's shooting

In the same call, another clerk is heard speaking to the same dispatcher this time (posted on YouTube). And this clerk gave more details of the chaos at the motel taking place minutes after Selena was shot. The clerk gave the operator room number 158 as the room that the shooting took place, and who was in it (Saldívar). She even gave Saldívar's full name, despite the slight misspelling of her surname and told the operator that she fled the scene. That call was the first time Selena was identified by name as well as Saldivar's connection to her. The 911 call ended with the clerk detailing that Selena was shot in the back.

Ambulances and EMS arrived and even with multiple efforts to save her life, Selena was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to the hospital, per Associated Press. After an hours-long standoff, Saldívar, with a gun pointed to her head inside an SUV in the Days Inn parking lot, finally surrendered to police more than nine hours after murdering Selena (via The Washington Post). She was convicted for the murder later that year and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 30 years (via the Associated Press). Saldívar is expected to be eligible for that parole in 2025.