911 dispatcher allegedly hung up on supermarket clerk at Buffalo shooting
An assistant manager at the Tops Friendly Market during Saturday’s mass shooting claims she was hung up after calling 911 because she was whispering
May 19, 2022 8:53am
Updated: May 19, 2022 11:43am
An assistant manager at the Tops Friendly Market during Saturday’s mass shooting claims she was hung up after calling 911 because she was whispering.
Latisha, who did not give her last name, said she called 911 from a hiding spot after white supremacist Payton Gendron, 18, opened fire in the Tops grocery store.
“I tried to call 911, and I was whispering because I could hear him close by,” Latisha told NBC 2 WGRZ, a local news station.
“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.’”
The assistant manager began to panic, explaining to the dispatcher that the gunman was nearby.
“And I'm trying to tell her like, 'Ma'am, he's in the store. He's shooting. It's an active shooter. I'm scared for my life,'” Latisha said.
“And [the dispatcher] said something crazy to me and then she hung up in my face. And I had to call my boyfriend to call 911."
Erie County officials confirmed the incident and said that “immediate action” was taken.
“The individual who took that call is now on administrative leave pending a disciplinary hearing which should happen within a couple of weeks,” county officials told WGRZ in a statement.
Other callers made it through the 911 communications center were properly and there was a rapid response. According to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, police arrived at Tops Market in two minutes.
Grendon surrendered to police after livestreaming his rampage through the Buffalo supermarket and charged with first-degree murder.
WGRZ notes that the media does not have access to 911 calls. They are rarely released to the public, barring a court order.