An operator of an emergency call center in New York was fired for having mishandled the call made by an employee of the Buffalo supermarket where a shooting occurred on May 14, which left 10 killed and three wounded, eleven of whom were black.
The worker, who has not been identified, was fired Thursday, after having been on paid administrative leave since May 16, the Erie County Department of Personnel, to which Buffalo belongs.
Latisha Rogers, a manager at the Tops supermarket where the shooting occurred, told she was working when an 18-year-old white man – identified as Payton Gendron – walked into the store and opened fire.
The employee recalled that she was in the customer service area with two co-workers and was on the phone with a client when she heard loud explosions, one after the other, she also told the television network.
“I looked out the window and I saw this customer, this lady with her shopping cart, she just stopped, and she had a really amused look on her face, and then she turned to run,” he said.
He further told CNN that they kept hearing the “boom, boom, boom” and that “all we could do was drop to the ground.”
The employee hid behind the customer service counter “praying that he didn’t see me”, after which she took her cell phone and called the 911 emergency center.
“Please send help, there is a person shooting in the store”, but the employee who received his call told him that he was not listening: “you don’t have to whisper, I can’t hear you” after which he hung up the call.
Police Central Services reviewed calls associated with the shooting, Erie County Executive Director Mark Poloncarz told CNN, saying the way this call was handled “was completely unacceptable.”
“We teach our 911 call takers that if someone is whispering, it probably means they’re in trouble,” he argued.
Payton was indicted this week by a grand jury on 25 counts, including 10 counts of first-degree murder, domestic terrorism and weapons charges.
Also charged with 10 counts of second-degree murder and three counts of attempted hate-motivated murder and if found guilty, he faces life in prison without parole.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.