A 911 dispatcher accused of shouting at and hanging up on a worker who was hiding at the Buffalo supermarket as Saturday’s racially motivated mass shooting took place has been put on administrative leave and faces firing, officials said.
The Erie County dispatcher, who was not identified, shouted at the female employee and demanded to know why she was “whispering,” before hanging up, the worker told The Buffalo News. The call was placed as an 18-year old suspect was spraying the Tops Friendly Market with gunfire in a horrific attack that left 10 dead and three wounded.
“She was yelling at me, saying, ‘Why are you whispering? You don’t have to whisper,’” the employee, identified as Latisha, an assistant office manager at the market, told the newspaper. “And I was telling her, ‘Ma’am, he’s still in the store. He’s shooting. I’m scared for my life. I don’t want him to hear me. Can you please send help?’ She got mad at me, hung up in my face.”
The dispatcher allegedly shouted at a whispering supermarket employee who called 911 and hung up on her. https://t.co/aDpOuq2ukQ
— 6 News WOWT (@WOWT6News) May 19, 2022
Latisha told the paper she had to phone her boyfriend and have him to call 911 to report the shooting. It is not yet clear who hung up first.
“I felt that lady left me to die yesterday,” Latisha told The Buffalo News.
“Termination will be sought” at a disciplinary hearing set for May 30, Peter Anderson, a spokesperson for Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told Fox News Digital.
Authorities said the shooter arrived at the market around 2:30 p.m. ET wearing tactical gear and armed with a rifle. He shot four people outside the grocery, three fatally, before entering. Once inside, the shooter was confronted by security guard and former Buffalo police officer Aaron Salter, 55, who was shot dead trying to stop the gunman. The shooter shot eight more people inside the store, six of whom died, authorities said. Police responded and took the suspect into custody.
The Daily Wire is not naming in keeping with a policy of depriving mass shooters of undeserved notoriety.
He allegedly live-streamed the murder spree on Twitch after driving some three-and-a-half hours from Broome County, New York, to the market because it is frequented by African Americans.
Authorities suspect the shooting was racially motivated, in part because the suspect is white and 11 of his 13 victims are black. The barrel of the suspect’s gun bore “the N-word” spelled out in white paint, along with the numeral 14, according to The Buffalo News. A government official told the outlet the number refers to a 14-word statement that is popular with white supremacists.
“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white people,” is the alleged statement, and is originally attributed to David Lane, onetime leader of a white supremacist terror group known as The Order, the official said.