Shooter tells 911 dispatcher: I'm ready to die
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The man's voice is eerily matter-of-fact as he answers questions from the 911 operator.
"911, where's your emergency?"
"Uh, I just killed someone. 100 Route 46."
"What do you mean, you just killed someone?"
"Exactly what I said. I'm armed and dangerous."
So begins a chilling exchange that lasted about 4½ minutes on Friday afternoon in the moments after police say 39-year-old Leonardo Parera shot and killed colleague Christine King at the realty office in Mountain Lakes, about 20 miles from New York, where both worked. Not long after, police descended on a parking lot where Parera sat in his Honda Civic and killed him after a shootout.
The Morris County Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday released the 911 recording, on which the unidentified operator calmly keeps Parera talking and providing information on his location and what type of weapon he has.
At one point, however, Parera appears to get impatient with the questions.
"You know what, I'm armed and dangerous," he says. "Send the cops out. I'm in a parking lot. I can see from every angle. I will shoot at anyone who approaches the car."
County authorities have said Parera came into the office and shot King while she was sitting at her desk and then called 911 at about 4:45 p.m. It was unclear what relationship, if any, existed between Parera and the 47-year-old King, a mother of two from Jefferson Township, beyond that of co-worker. Capt. Jeffrey Paul, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said Tuesday the investigation was continuing.
As the conversation on the 911 call winds down, the tone takes a dark turn, though Parera doesn't sound agitated.
"You know what, I need to make some calls and let people know, you know, I'm going to be dead now," Parera tells the operator.
"I'd appreciate that you stay on the line with me. I'd rather you not kill yourself or anybody else."
"I need to call and tell them I'm going to be dead."
"You don't have to go anywhere; you can stay on the phone with me, sir," the operator says. "We can de-escalate this and make things better."
"We're not going to de-escalate this," Parera responds. "I'm looking to escalate."
Parera hangs up, and the 911 call center dials his number at the realty office and gets his voicemail.
"You've reached the desk of Leonardo Parera. Please leave a number and I will call you back as soon as possible."
No officers were injured in the shootout, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi, and no other employees or customers were injured in the three-building complex that houses the Exit Realty Gold Service office. Several people barricaded themselves in their offices after hearing shots, Bianchi said Friday.