Woman's Calm During Shooting Rampage Aided Police
Employee Gave Police a Real-Time Account of the Mall Massacre
Hiding in a secure place, Jodi Longmeyer stayed on the phone and told police what she saw on surveillance video. (Omaha Police Department)
Jodi Longmeyer, the human resources manager for the Von Maur department store, was on the third floor when she heard the first gunshots.
"I was over in customer service when some of the gunfire went off, and there was an individual who was crying for help," she recalled. "After a few moments of silence and still hearing the individual cry for help, my first instinct was to get to a phone and try to get help to that individual."
A man in dark clothing had just stepped off the elevator. He was brandishing a weapon and began to shower the area with bullets.
A 911 tape documents Longmeyer's call, which informed police of the shooting in the mall:
"He came up the elevator and opened fire in the elevator area."
Longmeyer described the shooter, who would later be identified as Robert Hawkins: "As far as I can tell -- I remember quickly -- he was a white gentleman, about 5-foot, 8 inches ... had kind of a mustache. Large gun. Very large gun."
As Longmeyer began to see the injured and dead, her calm tone struggled to retain composure. The dispatcher told her to stay down so she wouldn't get hit by the shower of bullets.
At this point, some of Longmeyer's closest colleagues, including Diane Trent and Maggie Webb, had been shot. They would not survive.
Despite the unimaginable terror and chaos around her, Longmeyer stayed on the line and crawled to a safer spot while she transferred the call herself.
"My thought was to secure myself somewhere where I would be safe, but still be able to get help to the individuals who I knew were wounded."
She saw that people around her were injured, but she also realized that one of them was the gunman himself.
"Oh my gosh! It looks like the gun is lying over by customer service!" Longmeyer said in the 911 tape.
She began to cry, "It looks like he might have killed himself."
Then she saw the weapon as her crying intensified on the phone: "I see him lying there by a gun."
For 30 minutes, which seemed an eternity, Longmeyer stayed on the line to try to save lives....
The complete story can be found at; http://abcnews.go.com/WN/PersonOfWee...3970626&page=1