SPOKANE, Wash. - Thursday, Spokane County released the audio of the 911 calls following the Freeman High School shooting last fall.
KREM2 listened to all the calls made to 911 that day, and made the decision to not air them or post them online.
The calls are public record and part of the truth of what happened that day, but we understand the Freeman community should not have to hear the sounds of that terrible and tragic day again.
We listened to both CDs provided to us by law enforcement. In total, there were more than 55 calls to 911 the day of the Freeman High School shooting.
The first call came into dispatch at 10:08 a.m. It was a student, who yelled “There’s a shooting at Freeman High School.”
The next five minutes of calls were all from students and teachers at Freeman, describing what they saw. One student was able to give a description of the shooter, calmly and quietly answering the dispatcher’s questions.
Two different calls came in from a teacher in his classroom with a student who was shot. Dispatchers connected him with the fire department to walk him through what to do until help arrived.
For the next 10 minutes, several parents called 911 asking about the shooting and what they should do.
One woman called, either a parent or teacher, and told dispatch she was in the baseball fields behind the school with 14 freshman. She asked where they should go, while frantically shouting to the students to run and follow her.
Throughout the heart wrenching phone calls, a few things stood out.
When students and teachers called dispatch, you could hear a loud bell in the background every few seconds. It was loud enough that it disrupted a clear communication between the caller and dispatch. The caller would have to pause and wait for the bell to stop, or repeat what they were saying.
Another thing that stood out was the teachers outside the school with students, wondering where to go.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said dispatch typically won’t give directions on where to go because they are not on scene. Any direction given to students, teachers and parents when there is an active shooter will come from law enforcement who are there. Mark Gregory, the SCSO spokesman, said even those directions of what to do depend on the situation.
The Freeman shooting killed one sophomore student, Sam Strahan, and injured three girls.
The suspected shooter is scheduled to have a court hearing next month on April 2. That is when we will learn if he will be charged as an adult