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Call For Answers About Delayed EMS Response In Short Hills Mall Shooting

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SHORT HILLS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Questions have been mounting about the delayed response time by EMS crews to a deadly shooting at the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey last month.

CBS 2’s Don Champion was asking Tuesday why it took nearly 20 minutes for an ambulance to reach Dustin Friedland, the 30-year-old attorney who was shot and killed.

The calls made by mall security to police following the Dec. 15 incident have been released.
“Shots fired on Green 4, Green 4 at the Macy’s,” a mall security officer said in the call. “I’m also going to need an ambulance sir- someone’s been shot in the head.”

Friedland was killed during a carjacking in the parking garage. And about a month later, questions have been mounting about the delayed response made by the ambulance to the scene.

The ambulance was dispatched from the Millburn Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad.

While Millburn police reported officers got to the scene within a minute of the call, the department said it took an agonizing 17 to 18 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

The wait was so long that Friedland’s wife made a frantic call to 911 herself, begging for help.

“Yes, it’s an emergency!” Jamie Friedland said in the call, screaming. “I’m at the Short Hills mall parking lot, and my husband has been shot! He called an ambulance a half an hour ago! Where is he?”

CBS 2 went to the first aid office to get answers on what took so long. No one would go on camera, but CBS 2 was told a statement will eventually be released on what happened.

CBS 2 has also learned squad EMS volunteers wait here together during certain times of the day to be dispatched to calls.

Volunteers would not say if anyone was here when the mall shooting happened.

Another unanswered question is why an ambulance from two hospitals within miles of the shooting scene wasn’t dispatched.

Millburn police have declined to comment on the issue.

The Friedlands were leaving the upscale shopping center when they were confronted by two armed men as they were getting into their 2012 Range Rover on the third-floor parking deck, prosecutors said.

A struggle ensued when the men allegedly demanded the keys to the SUV, authorities said. Dustin Friedland may have been trying to protect his wife, who was already in the vehicle when the suspects put a gun to his head, sources said.

Dustin Friedland was shot in the head. Jamie was unharmed.

The Range Rover was found the next morning at an abandoned, boarded-up house on Renner Avenue in Newark, about 11 miles from where the fatal shooting took place. Its rear windshield was shattered.

Prosecutors have said the couple was targeted because of their expensive vehicle.

Hanif Thompson, 29, of Irvington; Karif Ford, 31, of Newark; Basim Henry, 32, of Newark; and Kevin Roberts, 33, of Newark, are all charged with murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. They all pleaded not guilty last week.

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