Two people were dead, the girl whispered on the phone to police. Others were certain to die.
“Please. Please. There are people here. They’re all bleeding,” said the girl, sobbing. “And they’re going to die.”
Her haunting words were similar those in dozens of calls flooding dispatch centers in the Parkland, Florida, area on February 14.
Frantic parents called 911 for information about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A dispatcher apologized. She had no information.
The calls, like those released by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office last Thursday, depict uncertainty and fear in the first chaotic moments after a former student opened fire at the school, killing 17 people.
In more than a dozen 911 calls to the Coral Springs Police Department, a neighboring city, desperate parents can be heard asking 911 dispatchers for information after exchanging text messages or speaking with their panicked children inside the school.
The callers’ names were not released, and Coral Springs Police did not immediately respond to questions about the fate of those heard in the calls.
The release of the calls Wednesday coincided with the nationwide walkout of thousands of students from class for 17 minutes — one minute for each of the students and staff members killed exactly one month ago — to demand stricter gun laws.
The calls released so far, along with snippets of police radio traffic and security video, detail the inability of first responders to communicate effectively and their confusion in tracking down the shooter. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has ordered an investigation into the police response.
Here are excerpts from the 911 calls received by Coral Springs police on February 14:
A freshman called police from a first-floor classroom. She cried uncontrollably, describing bullet holes in the walls. Gunfire is heard in the background.
“Honey, I’m really sorry that you’re going through this, but I’m here with you,” the 911 operator said. “Stay quiet.”
“There’s a kid, I think he’s dead. I think he’s dying.”
“I know honey. I’m getting help to you.”
One girl cried that a student who was shot in the head was already dead.
“It’s my neighbor,” she cried. “He’s dead. Oh my god.”
Anguished parents called police for information.
“Ma’am right now we’re dealing with a lot of calls coming in,” the dispatcher said. “I really have no information for you. I apologize.”
A dispatcher told another mother the same thing, then added, “Do not go to the school.”
“Please help! Please help!” a young woman, crying, tells the dispatcher in another call. “A shooter!”
“Is anybody injured?” the dispatcher asks.
“Yes, yes, a lot of blood… please, it’s real, it’s real — please help us!” the young woman cries before the call cuts off.