Shootings At Columbine High School
March 20, 1999
This is the transcript of a six-minute audio tape of the Jefferson County dispatch channel that was released to the media. The officer badge 71 is identified as Neil Gardner. The other officers and the radio dispatcher were not identified by Press officer Steve Davis. This transcript was prepared by DISPATCH Monthly from the original audio recording.
Also review the 911 telephone call transcripts.
[the released excerpt of tape begins with this broadcast
Dispatcher: ...Shots fired at Columbine High School, 6201 South Pierce, possibly the south lower lots toward the east end. One female is down.
Officer Gardner: Shots in the building. I need somebody in the south lot with me.
Dispatcher: MC-2's in the area.
Dispatcher: 140 enroute. 11:26 (dispatcher gives time of broadcast).
[unintelligible field radio with siren in background]
Dispatcher: [unintelligible] 11:26
[unintelligible, officers acknowledging their response]
Officer: Several shots. Code 33.
Dispatcher: 71. Several shots fired. Columbine High School. Use caution....
Dispatcher: [unintelligible] You were covered.
[unintelligible field unit]
Dispatcher: Copy. Attention. All units, there's a code three on this channel. For the officers at Columbine High. Take your traffic to channel two....
[unintelligible field unit]
Dispatcher: [unintelligible] 11:27
Officer: Yeah, the alarm's OK. Enroute down to Columbine.
Officer: 27. I'm coming in the area.
Dispatcher: 71 requested assistance at the south lower lot.
Officer: At the lot?
Dispatcher: [unintelligible] at the lot. That's where we had the female down....
[unintelligible] 127 [unintelligible]
Officer: OK ... We've got the pupils leaving the grounds.
Dispatcher: [unintelligible] I have report of possible grenades in the school.
Officer: [unintelligible] teacher thinks somebody is in the school with a gun.
Dispatcher: Report units of possible parties inside the school with weapons. Also we have reports from outside the school that possibly grenades are being thrown from the roof of the school.
Officer: 27. I'm set up on Pierce at the, uh, south side lot.
Dispatcher: Pierce south side of the lot.... [unintelligible]
Officer: 44. I'll be set up on the west side of the back of the school, by the ball field.
Officer: MC-2. I've got the west side by the ball field. Supposedly they're in black trench coats.
Dispatcher: MC-2. West side by the ball fields, parties in trench coats, possibly has a shotgun.
Officer: [unintelligible] copy.
Dispatcher: Last unit
Officer: [unintelligible] ambulance here also.
Dispatcher: OK, well advise [unintelligible]
Officer: With MC-2
Dispatcher: 144 with MC-2 at 1129.
Dispatcher: ... 71, is your ambulance needed in the lower lot south side?
Officer: They need to stay away for now. Break.
Dispatcher: Copy. They're staging. Go ahead.
Officer: We've got a couple shots off at the shooter on the southeast end. Southwest, I'm sorry.
Dispatcher: Is it southwest or southeast?
Officer: Southwest and it's a big gun.
Dispatcher: Southwest side with a large weapon.
Officer: I'm on scene. Where does he want me?
Dispatcher: 71, where do you want 141?
Officer: 144, myself, MC-2, uh, southeast, scratch, southwest corner by the ball fields.
Dispatcher: 144 and MC-2, southwest corner by the ball fields.
Dispatcher: 149, it's now 11:30.
Officer: [unintelligible] Student lot and the buildings.... [unintelligible]
Dispatcher: OK, units responding and on-scene possibly in student lot.
Officer: 144. Additional shots fired, large caliber.
Dispatcher: 144. More shots fired, large caliber. 11:30.
Officer: More shots fired inside. There is a party down on northwest lot.
Dispatcher. Northwest lot, another party down. Units, we have information some of the shots fired in the library....
Officer: [unintelligible, responding with siren in background]
Dispatcher: [unintelligible] 11:31
Officer: More shots fired.
Dispatcher: More shots fired. 11:31.
Officer: I'm clear. [unintelligible]
Dispatcher: 141. 141
Officer: I'm in the back. I've got some smoke coming from the building. I'm over here with the MC unit.
Dispatcher: I copy. Smoke from the building. 11:31.
Officer: [unintelligible] down by the southwest side.
Dispatcher: Another party down of the southwest side.
Dispatcher: Attention all units: 71 is under fire. He's advised the suspect just ran into the building.
Officer: [unintelligible] southwest corner.
Dispatcher: Is this the party in the trench coat?
Officer: Yes. He had a white T-shirt on with some kind of a, uh, holster vest something.
Dispatcher: 43 advises the individual party on second level, southwest side, a white T-shirt, possibly holster vest.
Officer: I don't know if it's the party or not. I just saw one by a window.
Dispatcher: 71 is still under fire in the south lot....
[end of the excerpt provided by the Sheriff's office]
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