The horrific shooting that claimed the lives of 20 New England schoolchildren and six adults took only several minutes, police radio calls reveal.
Terrified people inside of Sandy Hook Elementary School in the normally peaceful town of Newtown, Connecticut dialed into authorities as early as 9:36am EST this morning.
Only two minutes later, a dispatcher said that the barrage of gunfire had stopped.
“I have reports that a teacher saw two shadows running past the gym…the front glass has been broken, they’re unsure why. Caller thinks there’s someone shooting in the building,’ one dispatcher said.
Then another dispatcher radioed in.
‘All units, the individual I have on the phone said he is continuing to hear what he believes to be gunfire, according to the New York Post, which obtained the audio.
One first responder radioed in: ‘Just received a call. We have one female in room one who has received a gunshot wound to the foot.’
While it would take hours for police to positively identify the shooter, officers at the scene were quickly able to determine that he was carrying multip0le weapons, including a gunshot which was left in his car.
The transmissions reveal the efforts of first responders to make sense of the situation inside the school in the first moments after the shooting. According to an earlier call, two ambulances were requested at the school.
A dispatcher placing a call sometime later asked for backup, saying that first responders would need ‘everything’ on the scene.
According to a radio transmission obtained by CNN, around that time first responders mobilized to organize a staging area in the parking lot of the school.
At 9.38am EST, the dispatcher said that the shooting seemed to have stopped. ‘There is silence at this time,’ a dispatcher said. ‘The school is on lockdown.’
‘Units in the pool, I’ve got, uh, bodies here,’ one very shaken officer radioed in. Around that time, parents received an automated text alert, telling them about the incident.
In the bloodbath, 28 people, including shooter Alex Lanza, were killed – among them 20 children and six adults.
The 20-year-old shooter, who was carrying at least two handguns with him, committed suicide at the school.
The rampage, coming less than two weeks before Christmas, was the nation’s second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre that left 33 people dead in 2007.
Local authorities shed no light on the motive for the attack, though Lanza was believed to suffer from a personality disorder.