Communication between police and dispatchers during Wednesday night's tragic shooting in Elkhart helps paint a clearer picture of how officers responded to the incident and secured the Martin's Super Markets store.
The details emerged after reviewing more than 20 minutes of dispatch calls among police, the Elkhart City 911 Center and paramedics.
Elkhart Police were called to 3900 E. Bristol St. just after 10 p.m. after reports came in that a gunman was in the building. Two officers, who arrived within three minutes of being contacted, arrived to find two victims and found 22-year-old Shawn Bair aiming at a third. Police shot and killed Bair, allowing the third person to avoid any injury.
An edited version of the audio is attached to this story. It condenses those dispatch calls to just over two minutes, removing long pauses between communication and calls for unrelated incidents. The dispatches were recorded off a Truth newsroom police scanner.
It's important to note that these are not 911 calls. Those are not released to the public until a case is no longer active, according to Indiana State Police spokesman Sgt. Trent Smith.
A transcript of the dispatches is below. The recording starts just after the first call came in at about 10:07 p.m. and stops about 18 minutes and 20 seconds later.
DISPATCH: We have a report of shots fired inside a Martin's. Female screaming. Unknown further at this time. Stage for (police department). 3900 E. Bristol, Engine 6 Elkhart I need you enroute. 3900 E. Bristol, reference to a possible shooting.
OFFICER: 401, 188 the produce section is off the west end of the building, just 10-43 [for your information.]
DISPATCH: Medic 24, engine 6 you're in route, Martin's 3900 E. Bristol Street, reference to an active shooter. Request two stage. Several Elkhart (police department) units on the way.
OFFICER: (Garbled)...Hard time hearing... See if there's anyone else... any other shooters.
OFFICER: Will you have our units in en route with this facility...(garbled)
DISPATCH: Affirmative, but they need you out front. I don't know if you're staging but they are out front for a civilian down.
EMS: We had to wait for the cops to move past us so we could continue in route.
DISPATCH: 10-4 [acknowledgement]
OFFICER: Elkhart (401) We do have one down. We have several units on scene, I'm going to take command here. We're going to go ahead and clear the rest of this main level here
DISPATCH: 10-4 [code for "acknowledgement"] Is the scene secure right out front for the medics and that civilian?
OFFICER: As far as I know, yes.
DISPATCH: Any unit out front of the Martin's advise.
OFFICER: Have the medics signal 8 [Meet] me at the front door. I'll advise you as soon as you can come in. Post for now as the other groups are clearing the store.
OFFICER: Alright let's clear a perimeter between aisles 8 and 19 that way medics can get in here and tend to the casualties.
OFFICER: We've got a vic on aisle 3 as well. (garbled)... trying to ... clear the (garbled) area as well.
OFFICER: We're waiting for you to come back. Check it now, door is secure. Can you advise on the rear of the store?
OFFICER: We're still checking the storage area in the back and the coolers. I don't know about the very back of the store itself.
OFFICER: I'm around the back (…) Units to the back. There what appears to be an unsecured open door towards the the middle of the store.
OFFICER: If you can remain back... in and out of here shortly.... (garbled) ...make sure you stay back there and watch that open door to make sure you nobody comes in.
Reporter Sharon Hernandez contributed to this report