SAN ANTONIO — Defense lawyers played a recording Wednesday of a Branch Davidian's frantic plea to "call it off" as a deadly shootout erupted with federal agents.
"There are 75 men around our building and they're shooting at us at Mt. Carmel," said Wayne Martin, a top lieutenant to cult leader David Koresh. "Tell them there's children and women in here and to call it off."
More than once during the 911 call, Martin referred to the gun battle as an attack.
"They're attacking us again! They're attacking!" he shouted.
An hour of the call was played for jurors in the federal trial of 11 Branch Davidians accused of murder and conspiracy to murder four Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents who died in the shootout on Feb. 28, 1993. Six cult members also died.
The shootout at the Davidians' Waco, Tex., compound began a 51-day standoff between the group and federal authorities. It ended with an April 19 fire that destroyed the compound. Koresh and 78 of his followers died during that blaze.
Defense lawyers, who opened their case Wednesday after 24 days of testimony from more than 120 prosecution witnesses, contend that Martin's phone call bolsters their position that the Davidians were trying to protect themselves during the gun battle.