Newly released tapes indicate police could actually hear Aurora gunman Gary Martin firing his weapon, when the first calls started pouring in to 911.
“I’m in Pratt, 641 Archer,” a caller shouts as gunfire roars in the background. “We’ve got a gunman!”
On police radio tapes, the dispatcher is heard immediately switching to send the first units to the scene.
“641 Archer,” she says. “I’ve got active shots going---we can hear them over the phone!”
Within minutes, officers arrive at the Henry Pratt company, where they face a fusillade of gunfire.
“We’ve got shots fired outside, shots fired on the west---outside,” an officer exclaims, informing dispatchers one of his fellow officers has been hit. “Gunshot wound,” he shouts.
“Pretty bad,” that officer continues. “I need more people over here---we’ve got to get him out of here!”
Five officers would eventually be hit in the massacre, where gunman Gary Martin killed five co-workers after learning he was being fired. Most frightening of all, police were forced to fan out across the massive 200,000 square foot warehouse, with no idea where Martin was hiding. All they knew from co-workers was that he was armed with a handgun with a laser sight, and he had reloaded.
“I’ve got four victims upstairs in one room,” one officer announces, followed quickly by another. “There’s another one, in the bay to the north, he’s down and he’s not moving!”
At one point, even an arriving helicopter pilot asks for guidance.
“We just need to know where the shooter’s at,” he says. “We’re not going to land right now.”
“We don’t know where the shooter’s at,” the dispatcher responds. “We’re actively looking for him.”
Finally, 58 minutes after it all began, flash-bang grenades are heard, and officers announce they have found the gunman.
“Contact’s made---we’re moving forward,” one shouts. “We’re moving up to make contact with the offender.”
Martin was killed in a hail of gunfire, across the plant from where the entire incident began.
“We’ve got a visual,” an officer announces. “Suspect appears to be down!”