INDIANAPOLIS — Over the last few days, we’ve continued to share the stories of those who sadly lost their lives in Thursday night’s mass shooting.
Now we’re hearing from those who oversaw the call center during this tragedy. Those at the Marion County Dispatch Center say the call began to pour in shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday night.
“8951 Mirablel Road, be advised another caller heard ten shots from near the front of the entrance, caller says possibly from inside,” said dispatch.
There were eight people were in the center when the incident began to unfold.
“Next thing I know there were like six calls then 16 calls in the red not being answered yet, 911 calls,” said Marion County Sheriff’s Office Major Bart McAtee.
At that moment, PSAP director Carolea Walters and Major McAtee knew something was taking place but they still didn’t know what exactly. More than 100 calls poured into the 911 call center in just 15 minutes.
“There were shots being fired and unfortunately it was at the FedEx grounds,” said Walters.
Their goal is to stay calm, keep people calm, and gather as much information as possible.
“Our folks try to rely on the caller to be the eyes and ears of the officers as they’re en route,” said Walters.
“There’s a rifle inside here, inside the FedEx … four more down inside the building,” said dispatch.
Eight people sadly lost their lives that night, but it was the heroic acts of those on the phone that potentially spared others.
“One of our dispatchers that we are particularly proud was with a caller and she stayed with her all that time,” said Walters.
For 33 minutes, the dispatcher who just completed training assisted a hysterical employee who was scared for her life.
“I have a female in a control room, who advised the subjects are still shooting she does not have a visual but can still hear the shots,” said dispatch.
“I’m convinced she saved this person’s life. This employee is terrified and wants to run, she wants to flee. And had she fled she would’ve ran right into the gunman. Talked her into staying, hiding under her desk, she was extremely calm,” said Major McAtee.
Counselors have been brought in to assist with those who experienced this horrific night.
“It’s one that no one will ever forget that was in there that evening, our city will never forget it. It’s unfortunate that these are the times we live in,” said Walters.
Those at the call center say there are some who can handle it and others who can’t. For that very reason is why they always have positions available for anyone who wants to be a helping hand during critical incidents.
If you’d like to apply, you can do so here.