Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 | 11:12 a.m.
The voices of the people calling the emergency line for help after a student opened fire at Sparks Middle School on Monday revealed the trauma that ripped through the community and efforts to send help.
“911 emergency,” a dispatcher answered.
“Hi this is Pam. I’m calling from Sparks Middle School,” a voice said. “We have a shooting at our school. We have a teacher down.”
“OK. Don‘t hang up,” the dispatcher said, speaking faster and urgently.
“We have a second shooting,” the woman said.
The Sparks Police Department released a CD of the 911 calls to the Reno Gazette-Journal early Tuesday, which included emergency messages between the first responders and frantic calls from people in the community.
“Somebody brought a gun to school and shot a teacher,” a young man or boy’s voice said.
“The teacher’s down?” the dispatcher asked.
“Yes,” the boy said, and the dispatcher assured him that they were sending help. Then moments later the boy, breathing hard like he was running, said, “he shot again.”
Another call came in from a female student who was out of breath and urgent.
“Can you please get police out here?” the student asked the dispatcher. “There’s a kid with a gun.”
The dispatcher tried to get the girl describe the exact location of the shooter and the girl said he was by the basketball court.
A math teacher named Joe Pazar told the dispatcher that some students “who had a gun pointed at them so we locked down the building.” The dispatcher assured Pazar that they had police, fire and emergency medical personnel on the way. “As long as you guys know, we’re happy,” he said.
One of the students who took cover after the first shots were fired, begged the dispatcher to “please come.” She assured the boy that they had already received about 25 calls and help was on the way.
“Hi this is Lea, school police. You have Sparks Middle School?” she asked the dispatcher, who said they did.
“We have a teacher down,” the officer said as she listened to a radio. “OK, now we have a teacher and student down. The shooter’s in the cafeteria.”
The dispatcher kept trying to get a description of the shooter from the officers and on the radio, but no one had any information to share.
One man called in and told the dispatcher that he needed an ambulance, as sirens screamed in the background.
“I got a kid down that’s been shot,” he said.
An officer who identified herself as “Ella, Reno,” told the dispatcher that a student reported that the shooter was an “Hispanic male” in a gray jacket with a Sparks school emblem on it.
“He said the kid was following people around, like pretty much chasing people when he saw them,” the woman said.