Transcripts of 911 calls from L.A. shooting released
August 18, 1999
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Los Angeles authorities have released transcripts and tapes of the 911 calls made by terrified people at the North Valley Jewish Community Center on August 10, after a gunman opened fire during a daycamp.
The first call came at 10:49 a.m. from a woman who sounded very upset.
"Yeah, there's this man shooting all over the place," she told the dispatcher.
Dispatcher: "Hello, ma'am, hold on, what's wrong?"
Caller: "There's somebody shooting with a machine gun."
Dispatcher: "Where, where?"
Caller: "I don't know the address. It's the North Valley Jewish Community Center on Rinaldi at Havenhurst."
The first police unit arrived exactly 4 minutes later.
"We're on our way there," the dispatcher said. "Just be careful in case he's still there."
"We've got a summer camp full of children," the woman answered, growing more frantic.
The dispatcher kept the woman on the phone long enough to get a description of the gunman: "A heavyset man ... baldness at the top."
The police dispatcher asked about race and she said, "He looks white."
That description matched that of suspect Buford Furrow, 37, who later surrendered to authorities.
"I just saw him running across," the caller said. "He was wearing all black ... He stood in the lobby and was shooting like crazy with a machine gun."
The second 911 call went to a fire emergency number, from another woman.
"There's been a shooting here ... He shot up the whole damn place. Oh, my God," she said. "Somebody just came in and shot up a whole school. He came in with a shotgun ... Please hurry."
Fire Dispatch: "How many people are down?"
Caller: "I don't know -- the whole school, 75, 80 people."
Fire dispatch: "I need you to calm down."
Caller: "There's 200 people in camp and 60 or 70 in nursery school."
Fire dispatch: "Do you have any idea if anybody there was hit?"
Caller: "I don't know. I'm underneath the desk!"
There was one other 911 call. It was made from a convalescence home next door to the community center by a man, who later turned the phone over to a woman.
Both described the gunman as Asian.
Five people, three of them young children, were shot and wounded in the attack on the community center.
Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks said it took 15 minutes from the time the calls were received to dispatch the most severely injured person, 5-year-old Benjamin Kadish, to the hospital.
Kadish remains hospitalized but has been upgraded to fair condition.
The attack on the community center was followed by a carjacking, the fatal shooting of a Filipino-American mail carrier and the police siege of a hotel in the San Fernando Valley.
Furrow surrendered the next day to the FBI in Las Vegas.
An avowed white supremacist, Furrow faces state and federal murder charges in the killing of the postman in Chatsworth and charges of attempted murder in the community center attack.
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