Dispatcher Who Hung Up On Tops Employee Reporting Mass Shooting Was Fired

The 911 dispatcher who hung up on an employee at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, who called to report a mass shooting has been fired. Latisha Rogers, an assistant office manager, was hiding behind the customer service counter as the gunman opened fire on people inside the store.

Rogers told the Buffalo News that the operator yelled at her for whispering as she described what was happening.

“She was yelling at me, saying, ‘Why are you whispering? You don’t have to whisper,'” Rogers said, “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,” Rogers said.

“I felt that lady left me to die yesterday,” she added.

The 911 operator, who has not been identified, was placed on administrative leave last month as Erie County officials moved to terminate her.

“Our intention is to terminate the 911 call taker who acted totally inappropriately, not following protocol,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said last month. “We teach our 911 call takers that if somebody’s whispering, it probably means they are in trouble.”

The suspect gunman, who is a self-proclaimed white supremacist, was charged with domestic terrorism motivated by hate, ten counts of first-degree murder, ten counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, three counts of attempted murder in the second degree as a hate crime, and criminal possession of a weapon. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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