911 dispatcher during Buffalo shooting may be fired for handling call: NPR


Photos of people killed in the mass shooting at Tops grocery store in Buffalo, NY, are part of a memorial near the store.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images


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911 dispatcher during Buffalo shooting may be fired for handling call: NPR

Photos of people killed in the mass shooting at Tops grocery store in Buffalo, NY, are part of a memorial near the store.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A 911 dispatcher who responded to a call during the racist Buffalo, NY shooting could be fired for the way she handled the situation. A gunman walked into a Tops grocery store on the east side of Buffalo and killed 10 people on May 14.

Latisha Rogers, 20, who worked at Tops, called 911 during filming. She heard the shooter nearby and spoke quietly so as not to draw attention to herself, she told local TV station WGRZ. The 911 operator who answered the call asked Rogers why she was whispering. The two were later disconnected.

“The dispatcher started yelling at me, saying, ‘Why are you whispering? You don’t have to whisper,” Rogers said. “And I try to tell him, ‘Ma’am, he’s in the store. He shoots. He’s an active shooter. I fear for my life.’ “

Rogers said she then had to ask her boyfriend to call 911 for her after his call ended. The 911 operator is on administrative leave pending a full investigation, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

“We intend to fire this individual for what was a totally inappropriate response to a terrible situation,” Poloncarz told a news conference.

The operator has been employed for eight years and will face a disciplinary hearing on May 30. Poloncarz said the 911 call may be released in the future.

Police took the 18-year-old shooter into custody. He is charged with first degree murder; He pleaded not guilty. He was arrested at the scene of the shooting while wearing full body armor and holding an assault rifle. Recent deep dives into his online presence revealed red flags and racist writing posted by someone with the same name as the shooter.


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