The heart-wrenching 911 call that the wife of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks placed from her West Palm Beach condo last week starts with what sounds like a gunshot.
“My husband just shot himself. My husband just shot himself,” wails Melinda Trucks, the legendary drummer’s wife of 25 years.
The heavily edited recording of the Jan. 24 tragedy — police stripped all identifying words from the original — starts with a loud noise believed to be the moment Trucks pulled the trigger on the pistol he held to his head.
“Hello, hello, my husband just shot himself,” Melinda yells into the phone. “My husband just shot himself.”
“What did he shoot himself with?” the 911 operator asks.
“A pistol,” Melinda replies as the voice of a man sounds off in the background.
According to the original police report, Trucks’ singer son Vaylor Truck may have been at the scene.
“Is he breathing still?” the operator asks.
“No, no,” Melinda replies. “He shot himself in the head.
“I can’t look at him,” Melinda says. “What do I do? Call the hospital? ... Oh, I can’t touch him!”
“No ma’am, you don’t have to call the hospital ... You don’t have to touch him ... Paramedics and the police are on the way,” the operator responds. “Just stay outside.”
Officially, the investigation is still ongoing pending lab tests run by the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office.
And although Trucks’ family has not issued a statement about what happened that evening, public records show Trucks may have been having financial troubles.
In 2011, Trucks had to sell his prized home in the tony town of Palm Beach for the heavily discounted price of $2 million to pay off a $800,000 mortgage that a bank was trying to foreclose on.
And the IRS, according to federal records, was after him. Last year, the federal tax-collection agency filed two liens against Trucks’ condo to force him to pay additional income taxes for 2013 and 2014 for a total of more than $540,000.
A consummate Floridian, Trucks was born in the Jacksonville area and by age 8 was playing drums with local bands.
He was playing a gig in Daytona in the late ’60s when he was approached by Gregg and Duane Allman.
Together, they formed The Allman Brothers Band, which became one of the ’70s’ most popular concert bands.