Both first responders in stable condition with non-life-threatening wounds; ambulance and police car also struck by gunfire; incident under investigation
By Lt. John Fortner, Investigations Bureau, Antioch Police Department & Steve Hill, Public Information Officer, ConFire
On Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at approximately 8:51 PM, Antioch police officers were called to the 1900 block of Auto Center Drive on the report of a citizen requiring emergency medical attention. A fire engine from Contra Costa County Consolidated Fire Protection District (Con Fire), and an ambulance from Contra Costa American Medical Response (AMR) also responded to the medical call.
While tending to the patient in the parking lot near Auto Center Drive, a suspect in a silver SUV drove by the team of first responders and began shooting at the group. Afterwards, the suspect turned around and drove past the group again firing a second series of shots. A 31-year-old male Con Fire firefighter and a 58-year-old male AMR ambulance transport Alliance paramedic were caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting while responding to a serious medical emergency in Antioch Saturday night.
Shots were reported at 9:08 p.m. shortly after firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene. Both first responders and the original medical call patient were transported to local area hospitals at approximately 9:30 p.m. The firefighter was shot in the foot and the paramedic was shot in the leg and their injuries were determined to be non-life threatening. An ambulance and a police car were also struck by gunfire.
Several Antioch officers gave chase onto Highway 4 as the suspect vehicle fled westbound towards the City of Pittsburg. The vehicle pursuit traveled through Contra Costa and Alameda Counties and ended in the City of Richmond after the suspect vehicle collided with a parked vehicle. The suspect attempted to flee from the scene of the collision, but he was quickly taken into custody by officers from Richmond PD and the California Highway Patrol. The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff Air Support Unit also provided critical assistance. A firearm was collected at the scene.
“Tonight’s senseless shootings are a vivid reminder of the very real dangers our first responders face, often side-by-side with our law enforcement partners, as they work to save lives across our communities,” said Lewis T. Broschard III, fire chief, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District. “We are grateful for the public outpouring of support for our wounded firefighter and AMR paramedic and for the work of law enforcement across the Bay Area to bring the perpetrator or perpetrators to justice.”
“As representatives of our firefighters, and in support of the police and EMS personnel we respond with on a daily basis, we are grateful to report both first responders injured in tonight’s shooting incident are expected to make full recoveries,” said Vince Wells, president, United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County. “I would like to thank the members of the community of Antioch and beyond for your words of concern and support regarding those injured in tonight’s incident. We expect to learn more as the investigation uncovers more details regarding this incident.”
Antioch Police Department detectives with the Violent Crimes and Special Operations Units responded to the scene, along with crime scene investigators, and took over the investigation. The investigation is still active, and evidence is being collected and evaluated.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441, or Detective Brogdon at (925) 779-6895. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.