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Emergency calls show ambulance delay in fatal NJ carjacking: report

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[January 15, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters)  A woman's frantic calls to emergency responders show that an ambulance took 18 minutes to reach her husband who lay dying after being shot by carjackers at a New Jersey mall, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

"This is an emergency. I'm at the Short Hills mall parking lot. My husband has been shot," Jamie Schare Friedland told a 911 dispatcher in recordings of the calls obtained by New Jersey's Star-Ledger newspaper. The newspaper obtained the calls as part of a public request.

Dustin Friedland was shot December 15 by four men who stole the couple's luxury SUV in the parking deck of the Mall at Short Hills in Millburn, New Jersey, about 21 miles west of New York.

Schare Friedland placed the call requesting help 18 minutes after the attack, Millburn Police Chief Gregory Weber told the newspaper.

In the call, Schare Friedland asked the dispatcher: "We called an ambulance a half an hour ago. Where is it?"

According to the report, Weber said the response was delayed when the ambulance arrived at the mall but was unable to fit under the parking deck's ceiling. The crew had to push a stretcher up an entrance ramp to Friedland's body, he said.

Weber also told the newspaper that it was not clear whether the responding ambulance was coming from the Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid squad's headquarters 4 miles from the mall or from a different location.

When contacted by Reuters, the ambulance company declined to comment about the incident, including a request on typical response times in the area.

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After the shooting, the suspects drove away in the victim's car, which was later found in Newark. Four men have pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the violence that erupted moments after Friedland and his wife loaded holiday shopping bags into their 2012 silver Range Rover.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; editing by Scott Malone and Amanda Kwan)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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