Once Payton Gendron walked into Tops Supermarket with firearms and military gear, an assistant office manager hid behind the counter and did what any person would do in that instance: call 911. Instead, the dispatcher hung up on her and now they might lose their job for mishandling the call, per The Buffalo News.
Latisha called 911 and whispered into the phone to talk to the dispatcher while trying going unnoticed by the active shooter.
“She was yelling at me, saying, ‘Why are you whispering? You don’t have to whisper 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,” she said, per Buffalo News.
Instead she had to call her boyfriend to tell him to call the police. Latisha told The Buffalo News she felt the dispatcher left her to die. The spokesperson for the executive of Erie County, Peter Anderson, said “immediate action” was taken. Though, the dispatcher will still face consequences for how she responded to the situation.
More from The Buffalo News:
[Anderson] said an internal investigation began Sunday, with the dispatcher placed on administrative leave Monday, pending a disciplinary hearing May 30. Such a disciplinary hearing could result in an employee’s termination or other action.
Central Police Services communications division employees staff the E911 Center at the Erie County Public Safety Campus located in Buffalo.
Per the workers’ contract, an employee covered under the agreement “shall not be disciplined or discharged except for incompetency or misconduct while performing his/her duties.” An employee also can seek review of the discipline or discharge by initiating an appeal, the agreement states.
Buffalo News reported it would be unlikely that a recording of the 911 call will be released to the public due to New York County’s Law 308(4).
Anderson told The Associated Press termination will be sought for the dispatcher at a disciplinary hearing.