Buffalo Shooting Survivor Describes Moment 911 Dispatcher Hung Up On Her

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Buffalo Shooting Survivor Describes Moment 911 Dispatcher Hung Up On Her

A survivor of the Buffalo supermarket shooting has recalled the moment a 911 dispatcher hung up on her. 

A gunman killed 10 people in an attack at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, 14 May. 

Of the 13 people who were struck by gunfire, 11 were Black, with police describing the incident as a ‘racially motivated hate crime’.

One of those who was working as an assistant manager at the supermarket at the time of the shooting has now given her account of what happened. 

Speaking on a voice call with Buffalo broadcaster WGRZ, she said: “I didn’t really see much at all, I just heard the gunshots and just dropped down to the ground and just waited for him to stop. 


“He just wouldn’t stop so I tried to call 911 and I was whispering because I could hear him close by… 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’.

“And I’m trying to tell her, like ‘ma’am he’s in the store, he’s shooting, he’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. 

“I had to call my boyfriend and tell him to call 911.”

The shooting suspect has been named as Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old white man who started firing outside of the supermarket before continuing his attack inside.

Dressed in combat uniform, the alleged offender is also said to have live streamed the attack, which unfolded in a predominantly Black neighbourhood five kilometres north of downtown Buffalo.

The Buffalo shooting unfolded over the weekend. Credit: Alamy
The Buffalo shooting unfolded over the weekend. Credit: Alamy

Authorities said the incident, which left 10 people dead and critically injured a further three, was racially motivated.

After he surrendered to authorities, Gendron was charged with first-degree murder, with possibly more charges to follow.

Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told ABC News that the suspect was planning to continue his rampage had he not been stopped by police. 

"We have uncovered information that if he escaped the [Tops] supermarket, he had plans to continue his attack,” said Gramaglia. “He had plans to continue driving down Jefferson Ave. to shoot more Black people… possibly go to another store [or] location."

Gendron is also suspected of having written a 180-page manifesto posted online detailing his plan for the massacre.

Police have said the attack was 'racially motivated'. Credit: Alamy
Police have said the attack was 'racially motivated'. Credit: Alamy

In his manifesto, he reportedly repeatedly cited the ‘great replacement theory’, a white nationalist far-right conspiracy that non-white people are replacing white people in the world.

Speaking about the shocking attack in a statement, Erie County DA John Flynn said: “This is a tragic day in the City of Buffalo. This defendant is accused of traveling to our area and targeting innocent people who were shopping for their groceries on a Saturday afternoon. 

“I continue to pray for all affected by this horrific crime. I am committed to obtaining justice for the victims, their families and this community. 

“My office is working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement into potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed.”

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org 

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Featured Image Credit: Erie County District Attorney’s Office/Alamy

Topics: News, US News, Racism, Crime, Police

Daisy Phillipson
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