KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Newly released recordings of 911 calls made during the shooting at a Kalamazoo plasma center reveal how quickly the situation escalated.
The March 12 shooting at Biomat USA Plasma Center started when witnesses say 31-year-old Brandon Stacey fired one shot into the air, prompting people to call 911.
When a Kalamazoo County dispatcher called back the plasma center, an employee picked up. The employee told the dispatcher no one was hurt.
“And you still have the shooter there?” Asked the dispatcher.
“Yup. He needs the police here,” the employee answered in a calm voice, identifying Stacey as the gunman.
“Where is he located? Is he inside or outside?” The dispatcher asked.
“Yup. Hey Brandon, can you put the gun down?” The employee asked. “He says no,” she told the dispatcher.
Seconds later, gunfire erupts.
“Brandon! Brandon! Stop, please stop… stop, Brandon! Brandon?” The employee can be heard yelling before more gunfire sounds.
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The dispatcher then asks the employee on the phone to get into a safe place.
“Yes,” she responds. “Brandon, I’m going to move over the counter,” she says, addressing the shooter.
“Don’t. You don’t have to speak to him. Just get yourself to a safe place. Just get yourself to a safe place,” the dispatcher says.
The employee tells the dispatcher she’s under the counter and she has “people moving.”
“They are going outside. I’m the only one in the lobby,” she adds.
“OK. Stay on the phone with me. Are you safe?” Asks the dispatcher.
“Yes, I’m safe. Sorry,” the woman answers.
Dispatchers also took a call from Stacey’s cellphone, but all of the voices were muffled and the dispatcher couldn’t clearly hear any replies. When the dispatcher tried calling back Stacey, his phone rang twice and the call went to his voicemail.
Authorities say Stacey opened fire on the first two Kalamazoo officers to arrive, who fired back.
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said in all, 27 rounds were fired, four of which hit Stacey. Officers tried to save him, but he died at the scene.
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Officer Brendan Westrick was hit in the holster and twice in the chest. His bulletproof vest absorbed the shots to his chest and he wasn’t injured by the shot that passed through his holster. No one else was hurt.
Two weeks ago, Getting ruled Westrick and KDPS Officer Emily Weston were justified in shooting and killing Stacey, pointing out a single frame of officer body camera video that showed Stacey with both hands on his gun, pointing at an officer.
Stacey had no prior criminal history but he had mental health challenges, including two suicide attempts, one of which happened in February at Biomat. Before the shooting, Stacey’s wife asked him to move out, the prosecutor said.
Getting said Stacey had previously spoken about “intending for his life to be taken.”
The prosecutor said Stacey legally bought the 9 mm handgun he used in the shooting, but his family had been holding onto it because they believed it wasn’t a good idea for him to have it. Getting said Stacey had retrieved the gun from a relative by saying he was going target shooting.