Houston ambulance crew, patient hijacked at gunpoint
An armed suspect pointed his gun at an EMT and forced a firefighter from the ambulance
UPDATE: 12:50 p.m. EST
The Charlotte Observer
HOUSTON — Police in Texas arrested a man Friday morning who they say hijacked an ambulance at gunpoint and tried to flee with two people inside, including a patient.
The suspect is accused of running the ambulance off the road in Houston, and taking over the vehicle at gunpoint, police said. He was firing shots and pointed the gun at the driver at around 3 a.m., KHOU reported.
The firefighter who was driving the vehicle was left on the side of the road and the suspect drove off with a patient and a second firefighter in the back, police said.
The suspect also pointed his gun at the EMT who was in the back, according to KHOU.
As he was driving the ambulance, the driver communicated with dispatchers through a radio.
“Can anybody hear me? I repeat, I’m the guy driving the ambulance. I’m trying to talk to a supervisor,” the man said, according to audio obtained by KTRK.
Police said they tracked the ambulance through a GPS. The accused carjacker was eventually taken into custody without incident.
“We immediately were following him. Our operation center and dispatch knew exactly what was going on and we were able to track the ambulance at all times,” Deputy Chief Isaac Garcia with the Houston Fire Department said, according to KPRC. “It does appear that HPD was able to stop the member. He did appear to surrender peacefully.”
Police said the man, who was not publicly identified, was “under the influence of some kind of substance,” according to KTRK. Charges have not been announced.
No one was injured and the patient in the ambulance was taken to the hospital by a second ambulance, KPRC reported.
“This is not part of their jobs to be kidnapped, to be assaulted at gunpoint,” Fire Chief Samuel Peña said, according to the news station. “But it definitely has become a risk of the job. I’m very thankful that everybody is okay but it’s not acceptable.”
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The suspect then drove off with the patient and second firefighter in the back. Officers located the vehicle via GPS and took the armed suspect into custody without incident. 202
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) July 23, 2021