Frantic 911 calls released of moments after shooting in Fashion Place Mall

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 23:39:42-05

MURRAY, Utah -- For the first time, frantic 911 calls can be heard that were made by shoppers and employees while they were trapped inside the Fashion Place Mall after shots were fired Sunday afternoon.

Dispatchers give Fox 13 a glimpse into what it’s like getting call after call, on what they initially thought was an active shooter situation.

“It was a just a quiet day on a Sunday afternoon,” said Martin Webb, VECC Operations Supervisor.

That all changed with one phone call when a dispatcher answered and asked the address of the emergency:

"Caller: *sobbing* At fashion place mall there are gun shots at the mall."

“Our phone lines lit up for about ten minutes it was just crazy nonstop 911 calls,” Webb said.

Dozens of calls flooding into 911 with the fear of an active shooter.

"Caller: What’s going on? We're hiding we're hiding in the bathroom in a locked area.

"Dispatch: I need you to stay out of sight ok?

"Caller: Ok is it an active shooter?"

“Nothing can really prepare you for the actual event and going through the process of people's lives at stake,” Webb said.

"Dispatch: I want you to go and find safety and I want you to lock the door of wherever you go."

Many shoppers and employees hid, while others ran to the nearest exit.

"Caller: There are six of us in the Dillard’s purse closet *heavy breathing*

"Dispatch: Do not rush towards officers keep your hands visible at all times and follow all of their commands."

Other callers were with the victims:

"Caller: Two people injured, two people got shot.

"Dispatch: Is the assailant still nearby?

"Caller: No he ran away, they all ran away."

But some saw the suspects take off and jump over a concrete wall:

"Caller: The one I saw very clearly. He did have facial hair it looked like he had a mustache or a goatee."

While listening to these calls is overwhelming, it's a situation that dispatchers are prepared for every time they answer the phone.

“You have to come in the next day you have to have your A game again and thinking this could happen again,” Webb said.

Dispatch says the most helpful calls are the ones where people have information that they can then relay to the police.