8 Minutes After 911 Call, A Rescue From Madness

Va. Tech Lt. Debbi Morgan calmed student Emily Haas, who called 911 from Norris Hall, and kept her on the phone. Haas's information was vital to police. (By Linda Davidson -- The Washington Post)

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By Sari Horwitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 22, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. "We've been hurt," the voice whispered, terrified, into a cellphone.

On the other end of the line, Virginia Tech Police Lt. Debbi Morgan could hear gunfire. It was so loud that it sounded as if someone was shooting right into the receiver.

"Where are you?" Morgan asked, doing her best to stay calm.

"Two-Eleven Norris Hall," the voice said so softly that it was obvious to Morgan that the person did not want to be heard.

There's a shooting! 211 Norris Hall! Morgan shouted to two dispatchers. Happening now.

"Are you still there?" Morgan asked.

Silence.

Gasping for breath.

Pop. Pop.

"I can't talk," the voice said.

"Keep yourself safe," Morgan said. "We're sending people."

"Please hurry," the voice whispered.


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© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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