Town Heals and Remembers

Newtown Massacre: Scanner Activity Shows Police Response to "The Event"

"I need units in the school. I got bodies here. Get ambulances."

By Josh Kleinbaum
|  Saturday, Dec 15, 2012  |  Updated 3:00 PM PDT
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    Recordings of police scanner activity in the minutes after 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza's rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School show how police handled the gruesome scene, where 20 children and six adults were killed.

    It didn't take long for officers to realize the situation's gravity, which an officer at one point described as "the event."

    "I need units in the school," the officer said in a tense voice. "I got bodies here. Get ambulances."

    Over the next 90 minutes, police rushed children to safety, interviewed witnesses and began to piece together the details of the Newtown tragedy.

    The first scanner activity was at about 9:36 a.m., when officers first arrived at the school. They found broken glass by the front door -- officials now say Lanza broke a window to get past the locked front door.

    "The individual that I have on the phone is continuing to hear what he believes to be gunfire," a dispatcher  tells officers.

    One minute later, an officer says that all shooting appears to have stopped, and that the school is on lockdown.

    According to the dispatcher, a teacher told police he saw two shadows running past the gym towards the back of the school -- which could explain early reports that police were searching for a second shooter. 

    At 9:43 a.m., an officer requests two ambulances.

    "We have one fatal in a room, and one who has received a gunshot wound in the foot," an officer says.

    Three minutes later, an officer asked for even more ambulances. By 9:53 a.m., an officer said that a suspect was down.

    "The building has not been cleared," he said. "We need a couple more cars up at the scene."

    Four minutes later, an officer tells others to bring injured children to the base of the school.

    "Roger, 9-8, extricating the people out of the school," an officer responded.

    Officers described finding multiple weapons -- a shotgun and a rifle -- as they continued to search the school.

    By 11:03, officers said the school had been evacuated and was secure, and focused on interviewing children and teachers to find out exactly what happened.

    "I'm with a parent here who has the children who were in the classroom during the event," an officer said. "I'm trying to get an account (from) them right now."

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