Po­lice calls from Sandy Hook school made pub­lic

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGEN­CIES in Dan­bury, Con­necti­cut

A teacher calmly ex­plains she has been shot in the foot. Another woman, sound­ing an­guished, pleads for help. A cus­to­dian re­lays in­for­ma­tion from of­fi­cers at the scene to a po­lice op­er­a­tor.

There is also the boom­ing echo of gun­shots.

Of­fi­cials in New­town, Con­necti­cut, on Wed­nes­day re­leased au­dio record­ings of emer­gency 911 phone calls from the Dec 14, 2012, Con­necti­cut school shoot­ing.

The au­dio files may be the fi­nal pieces of ev­i­dence re­leased about the tragedy that rocked the United States a year ago.

Gun­man Adam Lanza, 20, shot dead his mother at home and then went to Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School, where he mas­sa­cred 26 peo­ple — 20 chil­dren and six ed­u­ca­tors — be­fore killing him­self as po­lice ar­rived.

“They’re still run­ning, they’re still shoot­ing,” pleaded one woman, sound­ing in­creas­ingly dis­traught over the course of the 24-sec­ond call. In the fi­nal sec­onds, she grows more in­sis­tent, plead­ing with the 911 op­er­a­tor for help.

“Sandy Hook school, please!” she said.

With a vol­ley of sev­eral gun­shots au­di­ble in the back­ground, she moans.

Town of­fi­cials ini­tially tried to pre­vent the re­lease of the record­ings. Con­necti­cut’s Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sion or­dered calls placed from in­side the ele­men­tary school to be aired.

Late last month, a judge ruled the town must com­ply with the com­mis­sion’s or­der, and New­town of­fi­cials have since dropped their ap­peal. First Select­man Pa­tri­cia Llo­dra re­cently re­versed her long-stand­ing po­si­tion, say­ing the tapes should be re­leased in full in or­der to pre­vent par­tial leaks.

Seven files were re­leased, two of which were iden­ti­cal.

On one, a woman who de­scribed her­self as a teacher said she was shot in the foot. The 911 op­er­a­tor in­structed her to ap­ply pres­sure to the wound.

“There’s chil­dren in this room,” the teacher said, sigh­ing heav­ily.

“Are you OK right now?” the 911 op­er­a­tor asks.

“For now, hope­fully,” the teacher said.

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