The 911 dispatcher who was accused of hanging up on a Buffalo Tops Friendly Markets worker during last month’s mass shooting at the store has been fired for the negligent mistake.
The dispatcher, whose identity has not been revealed, had previously been placed on administrative leave for allegedly dropping the woman’s call as self-proclaimed white supremacist Payton Gendron, 18, allegedly murdered 10 Black people in a hate-fueled rampage at the supermarket on May 14. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz called the woman’s response to the emergency “inappropriate” and “unacceptable,” and pledged to terminate her.
As it stands, Latisha Rogers, an assistant manager at the supermarket, claimed she called 911 to report shots fired at the crowded supermarket when the dispatcher yelled at her over the phone before abruptly hanging up on her. “I tried to call 911, and I was whispering because I could hear him close by,” Rogers told the outlet. “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.’”
She continued, “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.’ And she said something crazy to me and then she hung up in my face.”
Seeing no other option after being denied help, Rogers said she then called her boyfriend and told him to call 911.