Video: N.Y. EMT shot by patient in ambulance released from hospital

A crowd of about 150 firefighters, EMTs, hospital staffers and members of Staten Island motorcycle clubs greeted Richard McMahon as he exited the facility


Elizabeth Keogh
New York Daily News

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A Staten Island EMT shot inside his moving ambulance by a drunken patient met Thursday with one of the heroes who subdued his attacker.

After the hospital meet-up, EMT Richard McMahon exited Richmond University Medical Center shortly after 3 p.m. in a wheelchair — and stood up and flashed a thumbs-up sign before heading off to recover from the unprovoked attack.

EMT Richard McMahon, who was shot by a patient on Wednesday, waves to supporters as he is released from Richmond University Medical Center on Thursday.
EMT Richard McMahon, who was shot by a patient on Wednesday, waves to supporters as he is released from Richmond University Medical Center on Thursday. (Photo/Gardiner Anderson/Tribune News Service)

McMahon’s ambulance drove off from the hospital accompanied by a half-dozen motorcycles.

The 25-year-old EMT was on the job for the medical center when the boozed-up man snapped out of a stupor and opened fire on him inside his ambulance around 7:55 pm. Wednesday.

City employee Joseph Perrone, who helped take down and disarm the babbling gunman, recounted that as he walked through his West Brighton neighborhood on Wednesday night with his wife and two kids, he heard McMahon’s co-worker shout, “He shot my partner! He shot my partner!”

At that point, McMahon was outside his ambulance, “lying on the ground face-first,” recounted Perrone, a lieutenant with the Sanitation Department environmental police. “When it first happened, I couldn’t wrap my head around it.”

McMahon had been shot in the back, with the bullet striking his left shoulder.

The soused shooter fled the ambulance — only to be taken down about 100 feet away by Perrone and a retired NYPD officer. “I helped subdue (the gunman) and then I noticed the gun,” Perrone said. “I had to remove the gun from the situation.”

Perrone said he met with the wounded EMT inside the hospital. “He was really good,” said Perrone. “He’s in good spirits. He knows how lucky he is.”

When McMahon exited the hospital, he was greeted by a crowd of 150 firefighters, EMTs, hospital staff and members of Staten Island motorcycle clubs. Perrone was among those in the crowd.

The EMT’s mother, in a Facebook post, thanked the hospital’s doctors for their “amazing” work while wondering what exactly happened.

“How does my son get SHOT doing his job trying to help people?” his mom Kathy Rowan McMahon posted on Facebook. “He has the biggest heart and compassion for his job and patients!! The worst phone call a Mom could get. Thankfully he’ll be ok!!”

Shooting suspect Thomas McCauley, 37, was due for arraignment Friday on Staten Island.

McCauley had been found unconscious by the EMTs outside the Funkey Monkey Lounge. Police later discovered that besides a gun, he was carrying a knife and pepper spray, according to a source.

“He was incoherent,” recalled Perrone. “He really wasn’t speaking well. Once NYPD arrived and picked him up, he was just blurting out words — nonsense, so to speak.”

Perrone added that McMahon was fortunate that the incident occurred in a borough heavy with first responders and other city workers.

“There’s always going to be a firefighter, a sanitation worker, a cop, some kind of civil servant on the block,” he said. “It really didn’t surprise me. I’m surprised there weren’t more.”

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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