(NEW YORK) — As a half-naked gunman was shooting staff and diners at a Waffle House last month, a dispatcher was sending police officers to the wrong address, costing them precious time in helping to stop the bloodshed, according to report citing an internal investigation by the Nashville Emergency Communications Center.
A timeline released weeks after the April 22 mass shooting, allegedly at the hands of 29-year-old suspect Travis Reinking, suggests 911 dispatchers sent responding officers to the wrong Waffle House, before later figuring out the correct address.
According to a Nashville Metro Police timeline sent to ABC station WKRN, the first 911 dispatcher alerted officers stationed at the Hermitage precinct at 3:26 a.m.
The dispatcher gave the South Nashville address: 816 Murfreesboro Pike, reading out the specifics of the location and announcing that someone had been shot.
“8-1-6 Murfreesboro Pike across from I-24,” the dispatcher stated, according to WKRN.
The correct Waffle House address, however, was located at 3517 Murfreesboro Pike — some 9 miles away.
More than a minute elapsed before the dispatcher realizes the mistake and gives the officers the right address.
“We’re being advised that this is not the Waffle House at 816,” the dispatcher told the officers, according to the timeline. “That it’s going to be the one at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike. Um, it’s in South but just keep going to 816 just to verify, please.”
Another 20 seconds goes by before a Hermitage precinct police officer confirmed that the Waffle House located at 816 Murfreesboro Pike is clear and announced back to the dispatcher: “It is not going to be this location.”
Then police officers in the South precinct are alerted by a separate call from a 911 dispatcher clarifying which Waffle House is the one where Reinking was allegedly shooting people, according to WKRN.
“The one at South at 3571 Murfreesboro cross of Pinhook. We’re being advised that a nude male white has shot multiple people,” the dispatcher’s transcript reads.
Nashville Metro Police informed the station that its officers were on the scene of the shooting by 3:32 a.m.
Reinking ultimately killed four people. James Shaw, Jr., eventually stopped Reinking by wresting the shooter’s AR-15 away from him, throwing it over a counter and forcing him to flee.
The suspect shed his coat — which police said had more ammo in it — and then escaped completely naked into the woods and was captured the next day.
He has a court hearing Monday.
Michelle Peterson, deputy director of support services for the Nashville Emergency Communications Center (ECC), told the station the 911 call made to its dispatchers was dialed from a cell phone. While they believed they were at a Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike, they weren’t certain of the address, she added.
Peterson then noted that dispatchers initially sent police to the Waffle House located at 816 Murfreesboro Pike because it was a familiar spot.
Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner told WKRN that he was unaware police were directed to the wrong Waffle House at first.
He added that the restaurant at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike, where the mass shooting took place, was a new restaurant that opened its doors back in November.
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