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911 dispatcher fired after allegedly hanging up on store employee during Buffalo shooting call

The dispatcher shouted at an assistant office manager at Tops Friendly Market, asked why she was whispering and hung up, the employee said.
Mass Shooting in Buffalo New York Leaves 10 Dead
Law enforcement officials are seen at the scene of a mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market on May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The 911 dispatcher accused of hanging up on an employee calling for help during the supermarket shooting that killed 10 Black people in Buffalo, New York, last month has been fired, officials said. 

The assistant office manager at Tops Friendly Market called 911 when a white gunman, 18, stormed the store on May 14 and opened fire.

She told The Buffalo News that she was whispering during the call because she feared the shooter would hear her. 

The dispatcher allegedly shouted at her, asked why she was whispering and hung up. 

The Office of the Erie County Executive confirmed to NBC News Friday the dispatcher was terminated.

"The individual, who was the subject of a disciplinary hearing yesterday, is no longer employed as a police complaint writer for Erie County," spokesperson Peter Anderson said.

The employee had worked for the county for eight years, Anderson previously told NBC News. 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said in a news conference on May 18 the employee’s behavior was “totally inappropriate.”

He said that officials went through all the dispatch calls associated with the supermarket shooting and reviewed the call in question.

"It was completely unacceptable," he said, noting it was handled in a manner that was "not following protocol."

"We teach our 911 call takers that if somebody’s whispering, it probably means they are in trouble.” 

An internal investigation was launched into that 911 call one day after the shooting and the staffer was placed on leave the following day.