Text by Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant; video by Jan Carabeo, Fox CT
Newtown officials on Wednesday will release the 911 calls from the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting made to their police department.
State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky decided not to appeal a Superior Court judge’s ruling from last week that the calls should be made public.
Sedensky had gone to court in an attempt to delay implementation of a Freedom of Information Commission ruling that the tapes be made public. Judge Eliot Prescott denied Sedensky’s request, dismissing his argument that the shooting in which 20 first graders and six adults were killed was a case of child abuse and that the calls were the equivalent of signed witness statements.
On Monday afternoon Sedensky issued a statement confirming he will not take the case to the appellate court.
“After consultation with the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the attorney for the Town of Newtown who is a party to the appeal in the Superior Court, we have decided not to pursue an appeal on the denial of the application for a stay,” Sedensky said in a prepared statement.
Last week Newtown, First Selectwoman Pat Llodra said that she felt it was time to release the 911 calls in the face of continued media interest.
The tapes will be released on Wednesday afternoon by the town’s law firm, Cohen & Wolf of Danbury. There were seven 911 calls made to the local police department after Adam Lanza shot his way into the school.
The longest call to Newtown police was from custodian Rick Thorne, who was on the phone with a dispatcher for more than 10 minutes. His call was cut off when Newtown police officers temporarily detained him.
There also were numerous 911 calls made to Troop L in Litchfield, which received the cellphone calls from, among others, a teacher who was shot in the foot and a parent locked in the room where Principal Dawn Hochsprung had been holding a meeting when Lanza shot his way through a glass window at the front entrance. Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach ran out of the room and were the first two killed by Lanza.
Those calls are the custody of the state police and are not among the ones that will be released by Newtown officials.