Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Police have released transcripts of the 911 calls made as the deadly workplace shooting at Accent Signage unfolded nearly three weeks ago.
Police say Andrew Engeldinger opened fire after he was let go from his job. He was brought into an office by executives and fired for poor work performance and a habit of showing up late for his shift. The owner of the business, two other employees and a UPS driver were killed that day before Engeldinger took his own life.
Two other employees later died from their injuries.
Engeldinger’s family says he suffered from mental illness. They tried to get him help, but he refused.
Police released 20 pages of documents from 10 emergency dispatch calls made over the span of 13 minutes. The calls came from terrified employees, alarmed neighbors and a passerby whose children were with her when they heard the gunshots outside the business.
One of the first 911 calls came from a woman passing by who had her kids in the car. She told the 911 operator she “saw the gunshots through the window” and then watched as the employees of Accent Signage darted out of the building.
One of them stopped and told her people inside were dead. Several of the 911 calls came from employees.
One frightened worker told the operator “There’s someone shooting in my office. There’s three people shot at least. People are running. We gotta get out of here.”
The woman went on to explain that she saw her co-worker Andy with a gun.
“I saw him running around with a gun at first, I thought it was a joke and then I saw the blood everywhere and heard the shots,” the transcript read.
The 911 calls show several of the employees raced to get out of the building. Some quickly got into cars and drove several blocks away from the building while calling for help, while others ran to nearby homes. One man told the operator he ran to a house a mile away to hide, afraid the shooter was coming after him.
Since the tragedy, Minneapolis has made changes to its 911 system because there were problems with phone calls not getting through due to the volume of them. There were a number of people calling for help at the time, and about a half dozen people couldn’t get through. They called 911 and no one answered.
Now if the 911 system is flooded, the caller will be told to stay on the line until an operator is available.