Debunked: Police took photos before attending to wounded


Senior Member.
For some reason i've seen versions of this sentiment being spread lately.

[Bunk] includes a statement from an officer that another state police officer elected to photograph the wounded and dead children before checking their vitals for survivors. He was ostensibly more concerned about documenting the crime scene than saving lives. [/Bunk]
There were two 'photograph' situations. But since Cario is the only state police officer, I'll start with him

from Cario's statement doc. #00026724 (attached) Bold and underline mine
External Quote:

As I prepared to check the room I recall Lt. Vangheli standing behind me, watching across some type of furniture. TFC Kick was also
providing me cover from somewhere within the room. TFC Carlo Guerra #420 had entered the room and was diagonally across the room when I asked if anyone had access to a phone with a camera as I was about to disturb the crime scene. I recall that TFC Guerra took out his phone, but
there was some confusion and I did not wait

I later learned that TFC Guerra took some photographs after I started moving bodies. My images of
checking the children in the bathroom are not clear. I recall that the sight of the pile of children was unimaginable, and that some of the children had
horrific injuries. 1 know that I began to systematically check for signs of life and remove the children. I remember calling into the pile in the hope that a survivor would
answer, and that I was watching and hoping to see movement. I pulled the children out of the pile one by one.
As I did so I placed their bodies on the floor in the aisle of the classroom. I started nearest the bathroom and placed the children in a row leading toward the entry door. I had no specific
memory of how many children I removed. 03, 12
remember being disappointed as I worked my way down to the bathroom floor without finding any survivors. I stopped when I had three children left on the bathroom floor. I could access them and confirmed that they were dead
Kullgren (Newtown PD) also took photos. Kullgren was with Chief Kehoe and the "back of the school" team, who entered through the back of the school and were searching the back halls of the school, while Cario (EMT), Dragon (EMT) and Chapman were tending to victims in the front area of school.

Kullgren's statement #--1.pdf (attached) bold and underline mine.
External Quote:

As I was assessing the two affected classrooms I located multiple children with fatal wounds as well as at least two white adult
females. One of the adult females appeared to have non fatal wounds. I attempted to locate a pulse multiple times. I located no pulse and no chest rise.

At this time a paramedic arrived and wanted to being examining the victims. I determined it was best to photograph the immediate scene prior to
any victims. I obtained a departmental camera and photographed all the victims and the general areas.

By this time State Police Major Crime staff arrived on scene as well as State Police ESU team members. The scene was turned over to them and I remained on site as a liaison
between our department and State Police. The State Police Lieutenant I was working with informed me their ESU team was going to search the
school inch by inch.
So Kullgren also checked for signs of life before Paramedics entered the room.

I think "prior to moving" is enough of a debunk, as it does not indicate 'prior to checking vital signs' or 'prior to treating'.

But I've attached supporting documents showing the timeline of events, Cario, Dragon and Chapman checking for signs of life and bringing all victims who were still alive out to the ambulances at the firestation BEFORE the "paramedics" were allowed into the building.

The 3 paramedics were from Danbury Hospital: Cassevechia, Reed and Meehan. Cassvechia reports he arrived approx 10 am.
External Quote:

Cassavechia stated that he arrived on scene at approximately 10 a.m.
Cassavechia stated that he met with State Police Sergeant Bill Cario and informed him of his status as being the highest medical authority on scen
Dashcam footage transcribed in Book4 #184096 confirms Cario arriving back at school after ambulance drop offs at 10:06:02. at which time (his statement) he returned into the school without the Paramedics as the building was not yet secure (Carios statement). He checked for vitals in Room 10, room 8 and cleared room 12 children from the building. It was only after that point the Danbury Paramedics were allowed into the building. (after 10:15am at least)

Links to all Official Reports and statements

edit: to add Blumenthals statement.


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extra documentation:
*this is by no means is meant to indicate these are the only Officers who assessed the victims prior to 'photos' or tactical paramedics entering the scene.

External Quote:

Officer William (Bill) Cario has an Emergency Medical Technician license:…(Archive:

Officer David Kullgren has an Emergency Medical Responder license:…(Archive:

Officer Patrick Dragon (EMT) (archive:

Officer William Chapman (EMR) (archive:

Officer William Blumenthal (Registered nurse) (archive: