911 dispatcher who reportedly hung up during Buffalo shooting call is put on leave

Flowers left at memorial to shooting victims
Flowers grace a memorial across from the Buffalo, N.Y., market where 10 Black people were killed in what police say was a racially motivated attack.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

A 911 dispatcher has been placed on leave and may lose her job after reportedly hanging up on a supermarket employee hiding during Saturday’s shooting rampage in Buffalo, N.Y.

“Termination will be sought” for the dispatcher at a disciplinary hearing later this month, Peter Anderson, a spokesperson for the executive of Erie County, said in an email to the Associated Press on Wednesday.

An assistant office manager at Tops Friendly Market, where 10 Black people were killed by a white gunman Saturday, told the Buffalo News that she was whispering during the 911 call because she feared the shooter would hear her.


The store employee said that the dispatcher shouted at her and asked why she was whispering — and then hung up. The employee said she had to call her boyfriend and tell him to dial 911 and report the shooting.

Anderson said it was still unclear who hung up on whom.

A message was left with the union that represents Buffalo’s 911 dispatchers.