Emergency calls placed by teachers and students to police dispatchers last month provide real-time glimpses into the chaotic aftermath surrounding the mass shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
The recordings released Wednesday include the first calls to police from those who witnessed the shooting. They include the harried emergency call placed by Megan Silberberger, a teacher who tried to stop 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg after he opened fire in the high school cafeteria on Oct. 24.
“I’m in the cafeteria I have the shooter, one shooter,” Silberberger frantically tells a dispatcher. “Blood is everywhere. I do not see the gun. I have him down.”
During the exchange with the dispatcher, the teacher haltingly describes the situation while screams and cries ring out in the background.
“I am looking at him,” she says. “…I need help. I need help now. Shooter, right here. He’s wearing all black. I’m staring at him right now, sitting next to him. I need staff now. Shooter right here. Black pants, black shoes. Black pants, black shoes, black jacket. He’s (inaudible) other students.”
“He is a high school student,” she adds. “I do not know who he is. I tried to stop him before he shot himself. I do not know his name. He shot himself. He shot – many are down. I do not know how many are down.”
The calls to SNOPAC 911 dispatchers were made shortly after Fryberg arranged to meet several of his friends and relatives at a table in the lunch room, then pulled out a gun and fatally wounded four students and injured another before he turned the gun on himself.
Several of the calls include those from emotional students calling from the school moments after shots rang out.
“Hello, I think there’s been a shooting at MP – in the cafeteria room,” one boy tells a dispatcher … “Not even, like, two minutes ago. Can you please come?”
Other calls came from frantic parents who’d learned of the shooting – some from their own kids — and were seeking further information.
“My daughter just texted me that there are shots fired at her high school,” one crying mother tells a dispacther. The mother noted her daughter and several other students weren’t following lock-down instructions and had fled from their classroom.
“What advice can I give to her?” the mother asks.
During another recording, a neighbor who lives just west of the school reported that she had several students in her home after they fled the school and climbed the fence to her yard. The woman relayed that the students knew the shooter’s identity.
“First name is Jaylen,” she said.
“What’s his last name?” the dispatcher asked.
“Fryberg, with an ‘F,’ and he’s a freshman,” she said.
Recordings of communications between emergency dispatchers and Airlift Northwest, a regional helicopter medical-transport service, also were released Wednesday. In this call, Airlift Northwest is advised of the shooting and asked to be on standby for the injured.
Citing an active investigation, SNOPAC 911 — Snohomish County’s regional emergency communications center — has yet to release all the recordings of 43 emergency calls made by students, staff and parents within the first hour after the high school shooting incident. The agency previously had released several recordings of communications between dispatchers and police officers who responded to the shooting scene.
SNOPAC released the recordings Wednesday by authority of the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team — a group of investigators from various Snohomish County law enforcement agencies that is now investigating the shooting — after The Seattle Times and other media submitted public-disclosure requests for the audio records.