Saturday will mark one month since a gunman opened fire in Florida State’s library. The officers who killed that gunman were cleared and celebrated by a grand jury this week, but the woman taking panicked phone calls is also being called a hero. Matt Galka has her story.
Camila Peralta has been with Florida State Police Dispatch since April and they’re thankful she was on the job November 20th.
“Well it was a pretty, to say the dreaded ‘Q’ word that every dispatcher dreads, it was pretty quiet,” said Peralta as she remembered her shift that night.
Quiet turned to panic as Peralta took the first call from a person inside Strozier library when alum Myron May started shooting.
“My caller on 9-1-1 said that someone had a gun and that someone was shooting, so we went ahead and went into dispatch mode and got the guys there as soon as possible,” said Peralta.
Peralta says training instantly took over. She remained calm with the callers, and was able to get police to the scene within minutes, before anything worse happened.
Peralta has been a dispatcher for 8 years, and amazingly, this wasn’t her first active shooter call.
David Perry/FSU Police Chief
“She has a history of performing well under those extreme pressures, she was involved in the Ft.Hood shooting as a dispatcher, when that tragedy took place,” said FSU Police Chief David Perry.
“My first phone call I got was a lady that had been shot in the abdomen at Ft.Hood, a soldier,” said Peralta about the day she had to handle those phone calls.
Her actions were praised by a grand jury that cleared the officers involved in stopping the shooter.
“Absolutely she saved lives, had she not done the things that she did, officers would not have gotten there timely,” said State Attorney Willie Meggs.
But Peralta says she’s no hero, she was just doing her job.
“I don’t feel that way, I don’t want to take any credit, we were safe in here and doing our job, the police officers, they’re the true heroes. They ran towards the gunfire,” she said.
While Peralta may not think she’s a hero, there are plenty of people who are thankful she’s on the other end of the line.
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