Last Updated on June 5, 2022
A Buffalo 911 dispatcher has been fired after reportedly hanging up on a Tops grocery store employee. The employee called for help as 18-year-old Payton Gendron massacred store employees and customers, but was ignored.
“The individual, who was the subject of a disciplinary hearing…is no longer employed as a police complaint writer for Erie County,” spokesperson Peter Anderson with The Office of the Erie County Executive told to Fox News.
The Buffalo dispatcher has previously been placed on leave pending a review and “a disciplinary hearing.”
“Of note, the employee[‘]s action had no bearing on the dispatching of the call. The first call was dispatched for an immediate police response in approximately 30 seconds,” Anderson told the outlet.
A Tops employee named Latisha told WGRZ that she called 911 almost immediately after Gendron entered the store and continued his rampage.
“I tried to call 911, and I was whispering because I could hear him close by,” Latisha told the outlet. “And 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. It’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. And I had to call my boyfriend to call 911.”
Fox News Digital has requested records of the 911 call through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, though WGRZ noted that the request is unlikely to be fulfilled. Such calls are rarely released in New York State.
In the days and weeks following the Tops massacre, a number of questions have been raised as to what law enforcement knew beforehand. Authorities are currently investigating whether a retired federal agent was a member of a Discord server where Gendron discussed his plans.