2 Ark. paramedics shot on duty, return fire, killing suspect

Officials say after a gunman shot two paramedics in the ambulance after an argument, one of the paramedics returned fire, killing the gunman

The recent violent incidents in NYC and Arkansas are grim reminders that medics are regularly threatened, attacked and harmed by the people they have been called to assist. Read more about how EMS can anticipate and prepare for violent attacks in this analysis by EMS1 Editorial Director Greg Freise, MS, NRP.

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By Laura French

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Two Arkansas paramedics were wounded in a shooting while responding to a medical call on Thursday. 

Police say the medics were at a residence in Pine Bluff aiding a woman with knee pain when the patient's boyfriend, identified by authorities as Kevin Curl Jr., 22, approached them and began arguing with them, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Curl was said to have pushed Paramedic John Spriggs Sr. who then reportedly punched Curl before Curl pulled out a firearm and shot both medics approximately three times in the chest, pelvic and abdominal areas, according to a police news release. 

Authorities said Spriggs returned fire, striking Curl, who was later found dead inside the residence with a gunshot wound to the chest. Spriggs was found by officers lying on the ground next to the ambulance while Paramedic Joshua Godfrey, 35, was found sitting in the back of the ambulance. The paramedics were transported to the hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds. The female patient was also transported to the hospital. 

The shooting is under investigation by Pine Bluff detectives. 

Both paramedics work for Emergency Ambulance Service, Inc. (EASI), according to Deltaplex News

The Arkansas Ambulance Association released a statement on Facebook saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with members of the EASI family in Pine Bluff this morning. At last report, the EMS personnel are in serious but stable condition following surgery. 

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