On the recordings first released to The Star-Ledger, Jamie Schare Frieldand is heard screaming at a 911 dispatcher. Her husband had been shot in the parking lot shortly after 9 p.m. on Dec. 15.
"Yes, this is an emergency," she says. "I'm at the Short Hills mall parking lot. My husband has been shot. We called an ambulance a half an hour ago. Where is it?"
The dispatcher reponds that the ambulance is on the way.
"When? When? When?" Friedland screams. "Give me a time!"
The Milburn Short Hills Ambulance Company refused to answer questions about why it took 18 minutes to reach the mall the night 30-year-old Dustin Friedland was fatally shot during a carjacking in the parking garage.
Eyewitness News drove from the ambulance company depot to the mall Monday night. We drove the speed limit when we could and stopped at red lights and stop signs, something the ambulance wouldn't have to do, and it took roughly half the ambulance's 18 minutes - nine minutes and six seconds.
If you subtract the near two minutes spent at red lights, the figure drops to seven minutes and eight seconds. To the wife who was watching her husband die, 18 minutes turned into a lifetime without her husband.
When the ambulance did finally arrive, there was difficulty locating the scene. Also, the ambulance couldn't fit in the garage, so they had to roll a gurney upstairs.
Police have arrested four people in connections with the murder. Karif Ford, 31, Basim Henry, 32, Kevin Roberts, 35; all of Newark; and Hanif Thompson, 29, of Irvington, have been charged. All four have pleaded not guilty and are being held on $2 million bail.
It is unclear if anything would have been different had the amublance arrived sooner, but you can tell by listening to the tape that Mrs. Friedland sure hoped so.