Latisha Rogers says she ducked behind a counter to hide from the gunman. When she called 911 speaking in a whisper, an operator allegedly hung up on her.
An assistant manager who hid behind a counter during the massacre at a Buffalo grocery store says a 911 operator hung up on her because she was whispering.
Latisha Rogers, 33, ducked behind a customer desk and called for help as the gunman stalked the aisles at Tops supermarket.
Rogers told her story at a recent church service, saying she tried to explain she had to whisper, so that the gunman would not hear her. Incredibly, she says the operator actually hung up on her and that she had to call her boyfriend and tell him to call 911.
The shocking story is causing outrage in the community.
“I find it disgusting that this 911 operator hung up on her, because she was whispering,” produce manager Rose Marie Wysocki said.
The Erie County Central Police Services said in a statement that the person who took the call is on “administrative leave pending a disciplinary hearing.”
Meanwhile, online diaries reveal that 18-year-old accused gunman Payton Gendron studied a YouTube video called “Buffalo’s Worst Neighborhoods” as he scoped out potential targets.
He boasted that his parents knew nothing about the growing arsenal of weapons and ammunition in their home.
“It's not the parents fault that a kid commits murder, but there are so many people who may be able to reach out and stop a murderer, and the parents are right there at the front of the line,” former FBI special agent Katherine Schweit said.
The indefinite closure of the supermarket has left a gaping void to the folks who live in the neighborhood.
“Tops was a staple for this whole community,” one person said.
The city of good neighbors is coming to the aid of people who shopped at Tops and no longer have that place to go, with donated food and other supplies.
The Buffalo Bills football team came out to serve hot food, making sure nobody goes hungry. The team, along with the NFL foundation, have donated $400,000 to relief efforts.