‘I’m hit’: 911, police radio communications shed light on Aurora mass shooting

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The Aurora Police Department on Monday released audio recordings of 911 calls and police communications spanning the length of the mass shooting and hourlong manhunt that left five people dead in the western suburb earlier this month.

The recordings start with a 911 caller proclaiming “We got a gunman.”

They end with stun grenades, bullets and four words: “The suspect is down.”

The roughly 69 minutes of audio captures the manhunt for Gary Martin, who killed five co-workers and, minutes later, shot five Aurora cops before holing up in the massive Henry Pratt Co. warehouse.

“Get the shields out! Get the shields out!” an officer says in the opening minutes of police chatter.

“I’ve been shot,” one officer says a short time later.

“I’m hit. I’m still in the fight,” another officer says.

Another cop, trying to control his breathing and whispering at the same time, tells a police dispatcher “I’m with him … stairwell, north side … he’s been shot in the leg … conscious, breathing.”

From there, a plan begins to take shape as a command post is established and officers begin to converge on the building from multiple west suburban departments.

“Alright we’ve got this guy contained in this building, let’s make sure we’ve got a perimeter all the way around this building and everybody hold tight,” an officer says.

Names of police officers are edited out of the recordings.

“We need at least one person to keep an eye on the roof in case he has roof access. He’ll have dominant position at that point, too,” an officer says.

A short time later a police surveillance drone is dispatched and begins hovering 200 feet above the building.

“Just so we don’t have a false sense of confidence behind those shields, just keep in mind that those rounds sounded like some high-caliber stuff, just FYI,” an officer says.

One officer who was hunkered down with a civilian in an area he believed was close to the shooter’s location called for the BearCat, an armored police vehicle.

“He was over where I’m at. That’s why I need to get out of here. I’ve got windows all around me. I need to move but I can’t. I have no protection, no shield. If you could bring that BearCat over. I’m pleading with you. I’ve got a civilian out here.”

As employees and the wounded were moved to safety, officers focused on finding the shooter.

“For situational awareness … this place is massive … he might be popping out anywhere,” an officer warns.

The Pratt facility is 29,000 square feet.

Black markers were used to mark the windows of rooms that had been cleared.

“We’re still in the process of pinging his phone to get a location for him, it’s just giving us his home address at this point,” a dispatcher says.

The end came quickly.

“Shots fired. Shots fired … flash implement used … we’re moving up to make contact with the offender … we’ve got visual … suspect appears to be down. Suspect appears to be down …. The suspect is down.”

Martin, 45, was killed by police.

The last of the five Aurora police officers hospitalized with gunshot injuries was released Thursday, Aurora police announced last week.


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