Newtown 911 Tapes Released

Dispatchers are calm, ask about kids
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2013 12:01 PM CST
Newtown 911 Tapes Released
Connecticut State Police lead a line of children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks, File)

Newtown officials today released the long-awaited—and controversial—recordings of the 911 calls that came in during the Sandy Hook shooting. Operators remain calm on the recordings, the AP reports, even as they seek help from state police and town officials. They urge the callers, who include a janitor and a teacher, and five others, to take cover, and ask them about the welfare of the students. Some excerpts:

  • "I think there's somebody shooting in here in Sandy Hook School," said one female caller. Asked why she thought that, the woman responded, "Somebody's got a gun. I caught a glimpse of somebody. They're running down the hallway. Oh, they're still running and still shooting. Sandy Hook school, please."

  • "Keep everybody calm, keep everybody down, get everybody away from windows, OK," said a dispatcher to an unidentified teacher.
  • "Get everyone you can going down there," said a dispatcher to a colleague while on the phone with school custodian Rick Thorne. "There's still shooting going on, please!" Thorne said later during the call. "Still, it's still going on!"
  • The Hartford Courant has more excerpts.
The tapes were released only thanks to a legal challenge from the AP, and they remain controversial. Prosecutors argued they could upset victims' families, among other objections. (The LA Times outlines the debate here.) Today, local officials warned residents to prepare themselves for the release, Reuters reports. (Read more Newtown, Connecticut stories.)

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