Teen Calls 911 To Report Robbery, Mother Answers The Call: 'Mama, Please Hurry, She Got A Gun!'

The teen was relieved to hear her mother's voice.

November 07, 2022 at 5:20 pm

A 16-year-old girl called the police during a robbery, and it was her mother who answered the emergency call. Tenia Hill, a junior at a New Orleans high school, made the call when she was hiding in a walk-in freezer with her McDonald’s co-workers while an armed robber entered the fast-food restaurant.

Hill’s mother, Teri Clark, was working overtime at the Orleans Parish Communication District when she saw her daughter’s phone number on the 911 dispatch screen. Clark, who told her daughter not to call 911 and to just to speak with her, was perplexed when she saw the number.

“I was seeing her number pop up, and in my mind, I’m like, ‘What’s she calling for?’” the veteran emergency dispatcher told The Washington Post.

Clark answered her daughter’s call like she would answer any other call.

“New Orleans 911, what’s the location of the emergency?” she said.

“Mama, can you please send a police officer right now to McDonald’s?” Tenia asked, according to the Post.

“Where at?” Clark replied.

“At my job, Mama!” the teenager said.

“Mama, please hurry up. She got a gun,” Hill added.

Although she tried to process the call like any other normal emergency request, Clark said it was difficult to control her emotions.

“I processed the call like I normally do with any other citizen that’s calling,” she said. “But I knew it was my child. I was trying to remain calm.”

Hill was relieved when she heard her mother’s voice.

“I felt calm because of the comfort of my mama’s voice,” she said.

When she spoke to her mother on the phone for nearly four minutes, Hill said a woman entered the McDonald’s and forced the employees into the walk-in freezer.

“When my child told me that they was locked up in the freezer, I guess the mama part of me panicked, but the operator in me knew, ‘Hell, I’ve got to get help to my child,'” Clark said. “I had tears coming down my face, but I still had to do the job.”

After dispatching police and hanging up the phone, Clark told her shift manager that she has to go because her daughter was in trouble. When she arrived at the McDonald’s, police told the anxious mother that her daughter would come out after she was interviewed by officers.

“But I could see my child inside — hysterical, crying hard,” Clark said.

The mother and daughter embraced about 30 minutes later and went home. Hill struggled with nightmares that night. Now, the teen is scared to go back to work, Clark said.

“They took that innocence away from her,” the 45-year-old mother said.

Both Clark and Hill are relying on each other to overcome the trauma they still face as a result of that disturbing night.

“When she cries, I cry,” Clark said. “I’m not doing good, but we’re surviving.”