In the controversial 911 telephone recordings of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre there is the sound of two apparent shots, according to sources who have listened to about nine calls made to Newtown police on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012. http://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Sources-Sandy-Hook-911-tapes-reveal-cops-told-to-4996871.php But, the most disconcerting sound between the school and Newtown police may be the apparent order from headquarters for police to “wait” before entering the school, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers has learned.
“Wait until you go into the building,” one person says from police headquarters toward the end of the five-minute shooting spree. “I’m not going to send them in yet.”
The first call came around the time the assailant, shot his way into the school at about 9:45 a.m.
“Somebody’s shooting in here ¦ Sandy Hook School, please!” says one of the first calls to Newtown police headquarters at 3 Main St., located 3.1 miles from the school.
Another early call comes from a woman who says she’s in a classroom at the front, left side of the building. In all, the sources said the recordings run about 40 minutes.
The flood of frantic calls from land lines — cell phones automatically connected with the State Police in Southbury — apparently deluged the two emergency dispatchers in Newtown. At one point in the recordings, the dispatchers fail to answer a call and the phone rings for 30 seconds or more, the sources recalled.
At another point, Rick Thorne — a school custodian who has declined comment on the shooting, but who has been hailed for alerting staff tothe assailant rampage — is disconnected by dispatchers.
“It was weird that they hung up on him,” said one source who listened to the recordings. Another source who heard the 911 recordings agreed.
Both sources said they are not sure of the context in which Thorne was disconnected or why the apparent order was given to delay police from going into the school.
“There’s a shooting going on,” Thorne says during one of the first calls to police. “I keep hearing shooting.”
In one of the last calls, Thorne says, “I’m standing in a corner not knowing what to do. I’m a custodian. The shootings happened five minutes ago.”
These recordings are among the historic record of the Newtown murders.
Recordings of 911 calls are routinely released after most major criminal incidents, but Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III is attempting to keep the recordings private in a case pending before Judge Eliot D. Prescott at state Superior Court in New Britain.
The 911 recordings from Newtown are the kind of information that public records advocates and the news media say are crucial in examining the police response to the state’s worse mass murder.
The assailant fired 154 bullets in the school, according to an interim report issued by Sedensky and Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane on March 28.
Last week, families of the slain children and educators reviewed a 40-page summary of the slaughter and were told that Sedensky will release the document to the news media next Monday.
But recordings of first responders at the scene, who described the carnage in graphic detail, will be kept secret until at least next May as part of a bill that passed on the last day of the legislative session in June.
There are also thousands of pages of investigative details in the possession of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
Prescott, who listened to the 911 recordings on compact disc, is scheduled to rule Monday on Sedensky’s appeal of a September decision by the state Freedom of Information Commission, which ordered the release of the recordings.