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911 dispatcher accused of hanging up on woman during Tops supermarket shooting

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‘She was yelling at me, saying, ‘Why are you whispering’?” said the woman, who was hiding behind the counter from the gunman

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A disciplinary hearing is expected later this month to look into the conduct of a 911 dispatcher, who allegedly hung up on a Buffalo shooting survivor pleading for help on May 14.

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The woman making the call was working at the Tops supermarket where 18-year-old Payton Gendron is accused of opening fire in the predominantly Black neighbourhood and leaving 10 dead.

The woman told The Buffalo News that she hid behind the customer service counter and dialled 911. She said she tried to keep her voice down so she wouldn’t attract the shooter’s attention.

“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,” Latisha Rogers told the outlet.

She said she felt like the dispatcher had left her to die. She then called her boyfriend and asked him to call police.

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After an investigation, the dispatcher was put on administrative leave on Monday and could be fired at a disciplinary hearing planned for May 30, according to Erie County spokesperson Peter Anderson, the New York Times reported.

The recording or transcript of the call is not likely to be released publicly because of a New York County law that says they should not be used by any entity or person, “other than that municipality’s public safety agency, another government agency or body” or for any commercial purpose.

Meanwhile, Gendron has been charged with first-degree murder.

He appeared in court on Thursday for a felony hearing.

Buffalo shooting suspect, Payton S. Gendron, appears in court on May 19, 2022.
Buffalo shooting suspect, Payton S. Gendron, appears in court on May 19, 2022. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

More information about his alleged motives continue to surface, including the white teen’s belief in the “replacement theory” — which is a view linked to white supremacy and espoused by right-wing media. It maintains that white Americans are purposely being replaced by immigrants. Fox News media personalities like Tucker Carlson have popularized the theory. He reportedly spoke about it more than 400 times on his show.

Investigators are still poring over a 180-page “manifesto,” which they say was written by Gendron and could include evidence, CNN reported.

Gendron faces the maximum sentence of life in prison with no parole, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.


‘She was yelling at me, saying, ‘Why are you whispering’?” said the woman, who was hiding behind the counter from the gunman

Article content

A disciplinary hearing is expected later this month to look into the conduct of a 911 dispatcher, who allegedly hung up on a Buffalo shooting survivor pleading for help on May 14.

Article content

The woman making the call was working at the Tops supermarket where 18-year-old Payton Gendron is accused of opening fire in the predominantly Black neighbourhood and leaving 10 dead.

The woman told The Buffalo News that she hid behind the customer service counter and dialled 911. She said she tried to keep her voice down so she wouldn’t attract the shooter’s attention.

“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,” Latisha Rogers told the outlet.

She said she felt like the dispatcher had left her to die. She then called her boyfriend and asked him to call police.

Article content

After an investigation, the dispatcher was put on administrative leave on Monday and could be fired at a disciplinary hearing planned for May 30, according to Erie County spokesperson Peter Anderson, the New York Times reported.

The recording or transcript of the call is not likely to be released publicly because of a New York County law that says they should not be used by any entity or person, “other than that municipality’s public safety agency, another government agency or body” or for any commercial purpose.

Meanwhile, Gendron has been charged with first-degree murder.

He appeared in court on Thursday for a felony hearing.

Buffalo shooting suspect, Payton S. Gendron, appears in court on May 19, 2022.
Buffalo shooting suspect, Payton S. Gendron, appears in court on May 19, 2022. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

More information about his alleged motives continue to surface, including the white teen’s belief in the “replacement theory” — which is a view linked to white supremacy and espoused by right-wing media. It maintains that white Americans are purposely being replaced by immigrants. Fox News media personalities like Tucker Carlson have popularized the theory. He reportedly spoke about it more than 400 times on his show.

Investigators are still poring over a 180-page “manifesto,” which they say was written by Gendron and could include evidence, CNN reported.

Gendron faces the maximum sentence of life in prison with no parole, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

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