The gut-wrenching 911 calls placed from Sandy Hook Elementary School were released on Dec. 4: nearly one year to the date after 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his way into the school and carried out the horrific Newtown, CT massacre which left 20 children and 6 educators dead.
Seven phone calls from inside Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012 were released on Dec. 4, 201. Each call provides chilling and upsetting audio that illustrates the horrific events of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting — including what may even be the popping sounds of gunshots captured on the tapes. Emergency dispatchers calmly guided callers through safety procedures, but the distress of the situation can be heard in the voices of callers and 911 operators alike.
Newtown 911 Calls Released — Sandy Hook School’s Pleas For Help
“I caught a glimpse of somebody. They’re running down the hallway. Oh, they’re still running and still shooting. Sandy Hook school, please,” a breathless woman said on one 911 call to report a gunman.
School custodian Rick Thorne made another emergency call from the school after hearing gunman Adam Lanza break in the windows. He told 911 operators that a window at the front of the school was shattered and that he kept hearing shooting. The dispatcher told somebody off the call: “Get everyone you can going down there.” Rick remained on the phone for several minutes, pleading for authorities to help.
Operator advised the callers to “take cover,” and not go near the sounds of popping.
“There’s still shooting going on, please!” the custodian pleaded to Newtown’s 911 dispatcher, as six or seven shots could be heard booming in the background. “Still, it’s still going on!” Rick revealed that the students had gone into lockdown.
A teacher called from her classroom to report the shooting and explain that her students were safely locked away. The dispatcher conveyed the importance of keeping the children calm and “away from the windows.”
One woman who was shot in the foot called in the tragedy from the classroom.
Newtown Victims’ Families Oppose Release Of 911 Calls
Many families of Newtown victims opposed the release of the 911 calls, and, understandably, declined to hear the emotional recordings themselves.
After a year of holding back the release, law enforcement felt the public records would help prepare for future response to tragedy, and assess how emergency responders reacted. “Release of the audio recordings will also allow the public to consider and weigh what improvements, if any, should be made to law enforcement’s response to such incidents,” Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said, according to the Associated Press.
Our thoughts continue to stay with victims’ families and the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the release of the audio calls only proves the effectiveness of the brave teachers and staff at the school’s with keeping so many other young children and educators safe.
— HL Staff