911 caller: Stoneman Douglas is being 'shot up'
A terrified student whispers into a phone and then the line goes dead.
“Someone’s shooting up the school at Stoneman Douglas.”
The call, one of dozens made on the day that a former student went on a rampage inside the Parkland high school, was released Thursday by the Broward Sheriff’s Office along with a sampling of the 81 calls that came into their dispatch center on the afternoon of Feb 14. The police agency, whose response to the incident has become the source of national scrutiny, also released additional police reports and notes from calls to addresses associated with shooter Nikolas Cruz.
The release, made in response to a slew of media requests for information under Florida’s public records laws, included just 10 of the calls received by the sheriff’s Regional Communications 911 operators. The calls are all rolled into a 50-minute audio file and can be heard here.
One of the released calls was made from inside the school, and a boy on the other end tries to explain that his school is under attack. But he’s so scared the dispatcher can’t understand what he’s saying.
“Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is being shot up,” he says, whispering the last four words so quietly they’re barely audible.
“It’s being shot up?” the dispatcher asks. “I can’t hear you. Are you at the school?
The remainder of the calls were made by desperate parents and other people relaying information they’d heard second- and third-hand, according to the sheriff’s office. Calls to Coral Springs police, who operate their own call center, were not included in the release.
In the first 15 minutes of the tape three calls are made to 911.
The first call is from someone — possibly a fire rescue worker — who said he received a call from a girl inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High who said “there’'s a shooter at the school.” He said “a female called in, sounded like possible shots in the background, five or six.”
Then the 911 operator says another caller is advising someone was shot in the 1200 building. “We’re getting multiple calls, yes.” she said. “One confirmed patient at this point, not sure how many. We’ve got units responding.”
The second call is from a woman who said her son is in Stoneman Douglas. “He said he heard noises and pops. He thinks there's a shooting going on at school.”
The 911 operator responds that “police are on the scene.” The woman asks if it’s secure. “We don’t have that info yet,” says the 911 operator. The woman says her son is locked in a math class. Responds the operator: “Tell him to stay locked in the room.”
The third call was lengthier and more instructional.
A man calling 911 says he’s with a woman who is on the phone with her daughter and asks if the operator knows anything about a shooter. Her initial response: “For a shooter? Where at? What’s the address?”
Then the man says, “The children are hiding. They’re talking to their mother on the phone.” He says they're hiding in the 1200 Building.
“They heard shots,” he says.
“How many,” asks the 911 operator.
He says he doesn’t know but that the girl on the phone is “terrified right now.”
Then the operator gets info and takes control. She urges the man to “stay on the line. Do not hang up. Stay on the line with me.”
The man says: “They’re afraid to talk. They’re hiding right now. She doesn’t want to talk. She’s silent. She’s too afraid.”
The operator asks what classroom the child is in.
The man responds: “She hears people walking in the hallway.”
911: “Let that mother know she’s doing very good.”
Man: “They’re all being silent in the room.”
911: “Tell her to be quiet. Keep the phone line open. Don’t do nothing. Don’t need her to make any noise. If they can put their phone on silent that would be good.”
Man says the police are there.
911 operator: “Don't move. Tell them to stay silent.”
The man says the woman he's with has another daughter hiding in the auditorium.
911: “Tell the mother she's doing good. I’ve updated all the information.”
Man: “The girl is saying she hears things in the hallway right now. She and another student are the only ones in the classroom.” He says the other girl’s name is Haley.
911: “Tell her and Haley to be quiet.”
Man: “She hears yelling right now in the hallway. She hears adult voices now.“
Again the 911 operator tells him it isn’t safe yet: “I still need her to be quiet. There’s a lot going on. Just tell her to be quiet.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office also released reports and notes related to calls for service at addresses linked to shooter Nikolas Cruz between January 2010 and February of this year.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.