GRAPHIC: Uvalde survivor, 10, begs for help in 911 calls as police wait to act

GRAPHIC WARNING: Nearly 400 officers responded, but the 10-year-old and her classmates were left wondering where they were. (CNN, CITY OF UVALDE, TORRES FAMILY)
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 12:38 AM CDT
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UVALDE, Texas (CNN) - Excerpts from multiple 911 calls made by a 10-year-old survivor of the Uvalde school shooting in May that killed 21 people have been made public.

Khloie Torres, now 11, survived the attack. She spoke to a police dispatcher while she was trapped at Robb Elementary School with a gunman who had already killed her friends and a teacher. The release of excerpts from her multiple calls was approved by her parents.

The families of those killed in the massacre were also informed that this material was being released.

Khloie Torres, now 11, survived the Robb Elementary School attack. She made multiple 911 calls...
Khloie Torres, now 11, survived the Robb Elementary School attack. She made multiple 911 calls while she was trapped in her classroom with a gunman who had already killed her friends and a teacher.(Source: Torres Family via CNN)

Khloie, then a 10-year-old fourth grader, was inside room 112 at 12:10 p.m. on May 24 when she spoke to 911. Police, just a few feet away in the hallway, were made aware within minutes that the worst-case scenario was unfolding.

The 10-year-old, along with her classmates and teachers – some dead or dying – were alone, trapped with an active shooter.

It would be another 40 minutes until police finally entered the room and killed the gunman.

CNN reports the 911 calls are crucial to understanding the full scope of the law enforcement failure that day.

In a recording, Khloie tells the dispatcher that there’s been a school shooting in classroom 112.

“Please hurry. There’s a lot of dead bodies,” the 10-year-old said. “Please send help.”

The recording captured the sounds of injured people in the room crying out in pain. The dispatcher asks Khloie to tell her classmates to stay quiet, and she does her best.

“I’m telling everybody to be quiet, and now, nobody is listening to me. I know how to handle these situations. My dad taught me when I was a little girl. Send help. Some of my teachers are still alive, but they’re shot,” the girl said.

Less than two minutes into the call at 12:12 p.m., the Uvalde dispatcher sends an urgent message to police on the scene.

“Child is advising he is in the room full of victims, full of victims, at this moment,” the dispatcher said.

“10-4, Uvalde. Can you confirm to see if that shooter is still standing? Or has he shot himself?” an officer replied.

If active shooter protocol had been followed, the message from dispatch should have triggered police to spring into action and breach the classroom. Instead, 38 minutes went by – as more officers arrived on scene with more equipment – until something was done.

Nearly 400 officers responded to the scene in Uvalde, but Khloie and her classmates were left wondering where they were.

“How far are y’all away?” the 10-year-old asked in her 911 call.

“They’re inside of the building, OK? You need to stay quiet, OK?” the dispatcher replied.

“They’re inside the building. We just need to stay quiet,” Khloie said.

On the other side of the door, the law enforcement response was disorganized and chaotic. Official reports detail the catastrophic mistake that was made: police on scene thought the shooter was a “barricaded subject” and not an “active shooter.”

Khloie’s calls make it clear an “active shooter” situation is unfolding.

Body camera footage from local and state police departments obtained by CNN shows the officers on scene knew about the 10-year-old’s phone call and that there were children inside the room who were hurt and in desperate need of medical attention.

But various first responders can be heard discussing whether there were children in the room with the shooter and exactly which classroom they were in. Emergency services tried to determine whether anyone had been injured and where they were.

“The last contact we had was one of our school PD officers – his wife is a teacher – she called him and said she’s dying,” said one first responder in body cam footage.

“They just had a number of kids in room 12, a kid in room 12. Most of the victims in room 12,” another said.

Even first responders seemed frustrated with the response time.

“[Expletive]. We’re taking too long,” said one in body cam footage.

Ultimately, 19 children and two teachers – all in rooms 111 and 112 – were killed in the shooting. At least one adult and one child did not die immediately, according to CNN. Seventeen others were wounded.