’It was unbelievable’, dispatcher recalls West Liberty school shooting

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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West Liberty Salem Choir

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

For 26-year-old Kylie Stidham, she had only been released from her dispatching training for two weeks when she handled a call that will shape the West Liberty community forever.

“I hear this girl screaming at me on the phone and I couldn’t comprehend what I was hearing,” said Stidham, who  took the first 911 call reporting the shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School last Friday.  “I knew as soon as I heard it I needed to say it out loud so that everybody I was with could get on board with what was going on.”

Stidham said she had a hard time comprehending what she was hearing, especially since she’s grown up living in the same community.

RELATED: 911 audio from West Liberty-Salem school shooting

“How is that possible? This is Champaign County,” she said.  “I never would have expected it to happen here.”

The 26-year-old took the first 911 call at 7:36 a.m. and a deputy reported having the suspected shooter, Ely Serna, in custody five minutes later, according to records.

ExploreMORE: Alleged West Liberty school shooter asked victim to shoot him, affidavit reveals.

Stidham said she was hired on as a dispatcher for Champaign County back in October and left teaching to take the position.

“I’ve always wanted a job where I could make a difference and help people,” Stidham said. “I can honestly tell you I’ll never do anything else as long as I live.”

Stidham told News Center 7’s John Bedell that the entire team working Friday morning worked together to help handle the situation.


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