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Radio calls detail firefighters' response to Landing mass shooting

I-TEAM obtains internal radio calls from Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Internal radio calls from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department detail firefighters' response to the mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing two months ago. 

Two people were killed and 10 others were injured Aug. 26 when gunfire erupted during a Madden tournament at the Good Luck Have Fun Game Bar inside Chicago Pizza. Police said the gunman took his own life afterward.

Editor's note: Some of the details below are graphic. 

In the audio of the internal radio calls, obtained by the News4Jax I-TEAM, firefighters in the streets can be heard talking with each other and dispatchers as they found more and more victims.

"Gonna need JSO to the Landing ASAP … there’s something going on at the Landing."

At 1:35 p.m., JFRD dispatchers received an urgent request for help from firefighters who just happened to be training across the street from the Landing.

"Ladder 1. We’ve got a reported shooting at the Landing. Need everybody now. None of us are involved. There’s people running and scattering."

Rescuers saw a man with a gunshot wound running outside and quickly found more people injured.

"Ladder 1. We have one trauma alert. A penetrating wound to the torso."

The firefighters flagged down a police officer as they ran to the rescue.

"I got one more. A second victim."

Fire Rescue dispatchers then got in contact with Jacksonville Sheriff's Office 911 operators. Police arrived within two minutes. 

"Rescue 104 and all units responding to the Landing. JSO advised to get to the Chicago Pizza side."

"One trauma alert. Penetrating injury to the chest. Through and through the upper extremity."

First responders then notified medical teams at the UF Health hospital a few miles away to expect patients in their trauma center.

"I got three more victims shot inside. So I will need three more rescues."

First responders realized there were so many people hurt that they would have to send some patients to Memorial Hospital.

"Fire comm have all units come to Hogan and Independent. Hogan and Independent."

At 1:39 p.m., rescuers learned there was another victim down the road at 550 Water Street, then another next door at the 500 Building and a third at CSX headquarters.

"Engine 1 on my next rescue. I have another victim. Report to the back of Engine 1 in front of the Landing."

At 1:41 p.m., a firefighter announced three people were dead at the scene.

"Fire comm we have 3 DOAs. Chicago Pizza. Three DOA."

Paramedics also declared five victims as trauma alerts, meaning their injuries were very serious and potentially deadly.

"Rescue 4. I’m going to trauma alert my patient because of a gunshot wound in close proximity to the spine."

They also found people with other injuries, including a woman with a possible broken foot from running away.

"We just go into that mode, just, like, we are going into a structure fire or a shooting. You don't think about it, you just do what you can to help," JFRD Capt. Jeremy Cook told the I-TEAM. 

Every person who was treated by JFRD survived. Leaders said it's a testament to their quick response, training and bravery.

"This isn't something that we generally prepare for -- that you find yourself in the middle of the shooting, what do you do know?" JFRD Chief Kurt Wilson said. "You know, this was unique."

In all, JFRD had 21 units and dozens of firefighters and emergency medical technicians on the scene. 

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.