Monday 24 October 2016

New Mexico firefighter who hung up on frantic 911 caller quits

David Kearns

Published 30/07/2015 | 14:31

Jaydon Chavez-Silver who died after he was shot while outside a friend's house Credit: Facebook
Jaydon Chavez-Silver who died after he was shot while outside a friend's house Credit: Facebook

A firefighter who hung up on a frantic 911 caller attempting to save the life of a 17-year-old gunshot victim has resigned.

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New Mexico firefighter Matthew Sanchez was working in the city’s dispatch center when he received a call from Esperanza Quintero who said her friend was “dying”.

The call was made after Jaydon Chavez-Silver (17) was shot in June as he watched other teens play cards at a friend's house in Albuquerque.

He later died.

In the recording obtained, Ms Quintero snaps at the dispatcher for repeatedly asking whether the teen is breathing.

During the call, she says, "I am keeping him alive!"

Mr Sanchez asks: "Is he not breathing?"

The caller responds: "Barely!"

She is then heard frantically encouraging Mr Chavez-Silver to keep breathing.

"One more breath! One more breath! There you go Jaydon. One more breath! There you go Jaydon. Good job! Just stay with me, OK? OK?"

The dispatcher then asks again, "Is he breathing?"

The female responds: "He is barely breathing, how many times do I have to (expletive) tell you?"

"OK, you know what ma'am? You can deal with it yourself. I am not going to deal with this, OK?" the dispatcher says.

"No, my friend is dying... "Ms Quintero says as the firefighter hangs up mid-sentence.

Matthew Sanchez was reassigned after officials became aware of the call but following widespread outrage over his handing of the call, the office of Albuquerque's chief administrative officer said Mr Sanchez had resigned from the fire department.

The firefighter, a 10-year veteran of the department, was apparently first re-assigned to administrative duty, local television station KRQE reported.

The firefighter resigned Tuesday night, according to a statement from the city manager.

Police are still investigating Mr Chavez-Silver’s case.

At the time of the shooting, police said they believed the teen, a wrestler and football player at his high school, was at “the wrong place at the wrong time”.

A $4,000 reward fund has been setup for anyone with information leading to the arrest of those involved.

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