KALAMAZOO, Mich. (May 22, 2014) — Newly released 911 recordings are shedding more light on what happened the night of the fatal shooting at the Wayside West bar on Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo.
The panic and fear are evident in the phone calls coming into Kalamazoo County 911 dispatchers.
“There’s a shooting at Wayside bar and grill,” said a caller.
The dispatcher says, “OK, inside or outside?”
He responds, ” On the inside. A man has been shot several times. ”
The alleged gunman, Orlando Mitchell, a bouncer and bar-back at the business, was on the clock that evening according to witnesses.
They testified during a court hearing that Mitchell opened fire on Damian Tejada, killing him after someone broke a beer glass over Mitchell’s head or face.
Then, witnesses reported Tejada running from one portion of the bar to another, into the charity poker room, to get away from Mitchell.
However, Mitchell followed him into the room, walking quickly with a gun.
Callers to 911 also provided insight into how familiar the bar patrons were with Mitchell.
“OK, anybody see how shot him?,” said a 911 dispatcher.
“Yes, we all know who shot him. He works at the bar actually,” said the caller.
The dispatcherr said, “Oh, he`s an employee there?”
The caller responds, “He works here. He shot him and left.”
“I don`t know what name…He took off running,” said the caller.
Although Mitchell was a co-worker, employees were also in fear for their lives.
A waitress placed a call, saying, “There are gunshots inside Wayside right now.”
The dispatcher said, “There have been what ?”
The waitress responds, “On Stadium in Kalamazoo.”
The dispatcher says, “Shots how many?”
She said, “I don`t know I`m upstairs hiding. I`m a waitress, I`m freaking out. I work here. I`m inside, there are a ton of people inside. There are a ton of people inside.”
The dispatcher says, “OK, we`ll have officers en route. Did you see anything or did you hear shots?”
The waitress responds, “I didn`t see anything and I`m not going out there I`m scared. There are a ton of customers running right now.”
The next call shows how tense the situation was after police say Mitchell fled, one man appearing to argue with someone as the 911 call was in progress.
The dispatcher asks, “Do you know who shot him?”
You hear the caller say to someone nearby, “I cannot do it. No, I cannot do it. Sir, I can`t do it…”
Mitchell is charged with murder and a firearms charge.
His attorney has indicated in court that Mitchell may have been acting in self-defense.
He was denied bond.
A judge bound over his case for trial following a preliminary hearing.