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Killer of girls gave scant warning

The gunman who killed five girls in an Amish schoolhouse gave state troopers no time to try to save the girls, instead opening fire on his 10 hostages just moments after demanding authorities get off the property, according to investigators and 911 transcripts released Tuesday.

Charles Carl Roberts IV threatened to kill the children "in two seconds" during a 70-second call to a 911 dispatcher.

"Don't try to talk me out of it, get them all off the property now," Roberts told a Lancaster County dispatcher in a calm, flat voice.

Before authorities could react, he hung up and started shooting inside the West Nickel Mines Amish School, killing five girls and wounding five others before killing himself.

"He clearly did not give the police any opportunity to get off the property," said Lancaster County District Attorney Don Totaro, who did not release the actual tapes to avoid further trauma to the Amish community and Roberts' family.

"He did not seem emotional. He did not seem angry," Totaro said.

"I just took, uh, 10 girls hostage and I want everybody off the property or, or else," Roberts told the 911 dispatcher.

The dispatcher asked Roberts to stay on the phone so he could be transferred to state police. Roberts replied: "Two seconds, that's it." He then hung up.

The 32-year-old milk truck driver and father of three had stormed the school, sent the adults and boys out and bound the remaining girls at the blackboard.

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