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Dublin: 9°C Thursday 17 June 2021

Harrowing Sandy Hook 911 calls made public

Victims’ families had fought to suppress the tapes, fearing that they would cause distress.

Image: Jessica Hill/AP/Press Association Images

THE DISTRESSING CALLS made by teachers and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a lone shooter left 26 people dead, have been made public.

On the calls, one man begs the dispatcher to send help.

“There’s still shooting going on. Please.”

The man tells the dispatcher that the school was locked down.

Another call features a woman saying she had seen a glimpse of the gun held by Adam Lanza.

It took Lanza just 11 minutes to shoot and kill 20 children and six staff at the school in Newtown, Connecticut. He had previously killed his mother at their home and shot himself as police closed in.

This audio may be distressing to some listeners


Newtown police officers were on scene within four minutes of the first 911 call, but confusion over the existence of a second shooter meant they didn’t enter the building for six minutes after they arrived.

The prosecutor in charge of the Newtown investigation, State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, argued that releasing the tapes could cause pain for the victims’ families, hurt the investigation, subject witnesses to harassment and violate the rights of survivors who deserve special protection as victims of child abuse.

A state judge dismissed those arguments last week.

Releasing the recordings will “allow the public to consider and weigh what improvements, if any, should be made to law enforcement’s response to such incidents,” Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said.

AP provided additional reporting

Read: Sandy Hook shooter ‘was obsessed by Columbine’, but motive for massacre still unknown

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