BUFFALO, NY – A 911 dispatcher has been fired for hanging up on a Tops supermarket employee calling for help during a mass shooting where 10 black people were killed last month in Buffalo, New York.
“The individual, who was the subject of a disciplinary hearing…is no longer employed as the Police Complaint Writer for Erie County,” office spokesman Peter Anderson confirmed. Erie County Executive to FOX television stations.
The dispatcher had been placed on administrative leave “pending a disciplinary hearing”.
An internal investigation into the incident began the day after the May 15 shooting and the individual was placed on administrative leave May 16, Anderson told FOX News.
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“Note that the employee[‘]s action had no effect on sending the call. The first call was sent for an immediate police response in about 30 seconds,” Anderson told the outlet.
According to FOX News, a Tops employee named Latisha told WGRZ that when an 18-year-old shooting suspect arrived at the supermarket on the afternoon of May 14 and began his rampage that ultimately killed 10 black people in what FBI Director Christopher Wray calls “a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism,” she attempted to call 911 for help.
“I tried calling 911, and I was whispering because I could hear it nearby,” Latisha told the outlet. “And when I whispered on the phone to 911, the dispatcher started yelling at me, saying, ‘Why are you whispering? You don’t have to whisper. And I try to tell him, like, “Ma’am, he’s in the store. He’s shooting. He’s an active shooter. I’m scared for my life.” And she said something crazy to me, and then she hung up on me. And I had to call my boyfriend to dial 911.”
Fox News Digital requested recordings of the 911 call via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIL) request, although WGRZ noted that such calls are rarely released to New York state media.
Suspect Payton Gendron, 18, is charged with shooting and live streaming the alleged hate crime attack on Twitch. Three other people were injured. Eleven of the victims were black, according to city police, and he is accused of posting a 180-page document explaining his plan and motives.
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The deceased victims have been identified as Roberta A. Drury, 32, Margus D. Morrison, 52, Andre Mackneil, 53, Aaron Salter, 55, Geraldine Talley, 62, Celestine Chaney, 65, Heyward Patterson , 67, Katherine Massey, 72. , Pearl Young, 77, and Ruth Whitfield, 86.
Three injured survivors have been identified as Zaire Goodman, 20, Jennifer Warrington, 50, and Christopher Braden, 55.
Authorities charged Gedron with first-degree murder in court in Buffalo. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. He was also indicted by a grand jury on a domestic terrorism and hate crime charge that would carry a mandatory life sentence.
Michael Ruiz of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.