Chicago Firefighter Shot While Putting Out Car Fire
Chicago, IL – A Chicago firefighter was shot twice early on Sunday morning as he responded to a call about a car that was on fire on the city’s northwest side.
Firefighters arrived on the scene of the burning vehicle in the 3300-block of West Wilson in Albany Park at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 2, WBBM reported.
Gunfire suddenly erupted on the street as first responders sprayed water on flames.
Firefighters dove and took cover, but one 36-year-old member of the Chicago Fire Department was hit, WBBM reported.
The wounded firefighter, a six-year veteran of the department, was shot twice in the leg and both bullets went all the way through.
He was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital “in fair condition” and treated for his gunshot wounds, WGN reported.
“We are expecting a full recovery in six to eight weeks," trauma surgeon Dr. Juan Santiago Gonzalez told reporters at a press conference outside the hospital.
The head of the fire department expressed faith in his first responders.
“We are concerned any time we have a member who is hurt, but knowing that we have one of the best fire departments in the country, all things were addressed appropriately,” Chicago Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II told reporters.
Ford said he didn’t believe that his firefighter had been targeted, WBBM reported.
“We don't believe that to be the case," the commissioner said. "Ninety-five percent of the time the public, in fact, is very caring about the fire department... I just think this is something that was unfortunate.”
In fact, police believe the gunman was firing at a different target when the firefighter was hit, WGN reported.
The shooting and the cause of the fire that initially brought fire responders to the area were both under investigation by the Chicago Police Department.
A spokesman from the police department said investigators were retrieving surveillance video from the area and would be processing it quickly, WGN reported.
Detectives have recovered about 12 shell casings from the scene.
No arrests have been made and no suspect description has been released, WGN reported.