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'Another Pedestrian Hit': Listen To The Dramatic N.Y. Attack Dispatch Audio

Police gather at the scene of Tuesday's attack in New York City.
Andy Kiss
Getty Images
Police gather at the scene of Tuesday's attack in New York City.

Dispatch audio from the New York Police Department recorded as Tuesday's attack unfolded in the city reveals a dramatic — and often tense — response. At least eight were killed and more than a dozen were injured.

Listen to six moments from the first 10 minutes after reports of pedestrians hit and shots fired came in:

(NPR obtained this audio viaBroadcastify)

First, around 3:07 p.m. ET the dispatcher mentions pedestrians hit at West Street and Chambers Street:

Then, about a minute later, reports of "shots fired," and talk of sending additional units to West Street and Chambers. The suspect's weapons were later said to be a paintball gun and a pellet gun.

About a minute after that, the dispatcher asks for the condition on the scene; an officer requests "multiple buses" (ambulances):

There's more back-and-forth, often repetitive, for about a minute between the dispatcher and officers on the scene. Expressing some anger at the dispatcher, someone jumps in and advises "no further transmissions," directing people to get ambulances, a patrol supervisor and to "stop questioning the units, get them some backup":

"One-Henry," code for a First Precinct officer on-site, is then reported to have a suspect in custody. And those on the ground advise that they are now looking at a "mass casualty situation":

Then, less than 10 minutes after the first report of shots fired, a more somber request to shut down traffic because "it's going to be a crime scene":

The dispatch goes on for the rest of the afternoon as officers repeatedly relay locations, requests for road closures and questions around whether there are any outstanding suspects and the status of the injured.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Amita Kelly is a Washington editor, where she works across beats and platforms to edit election, politics and policy news and features stories.
Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy. He has been focused on police and use of force since before the 2014 protests in Ferguson, and that coverage led to the creation of NPR's Criminal Justice Collaborative.