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UPDATED: DC ambulance shuts down on I-295 with victim in cardiac arrest. Man had been shot by police. Officials blame emissions system.

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WJLA-TV/ABC7:

The fatal shooting incident began with a carjacking on Joliet Street in SW. The victim flagged down officer and officers found the vehicle shortly after.

Once at Barnaby Street, the suspect jumped out of the vehicle and pulled out a gun, police say. The officers then opened fire and hit the suspect.

The ambulance that was carrying the suspect broke down on 295 with the suspect inside, police sources tell ABC7.

Andrea Noble, The Washington Times:

The emergency response was complicated by the fact that the ambulance carrying the man to Howard University Hospital was forced to pull over en route because an emissions system problem caused it to shut down. The year-old ambulance went straight from a hospital to the scene of the shooting and had been continuously running for too long, D.C. fire department spokesman Tim Wilson said.

When a check-engine light came on signaling the ambulance was about to shut down, the driver had to pull off Interstate 295 and wait for about five minutes until another ambulance could respond and pick up the carjacking suspect.

Emergency workers continued to perform CPR on the man, and Mr. Wilson said the delay “wouldn’t have had any impact” on the man’s chances of survival.

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Peter Hermann, The Washington Post:

A D.C. fire department spokesman said the ambulance carrying the wounded man to Howard University Hospital stopped near Route 295 and Pennsylvania Avenue when a warning light came on indicating that the engine was about to shut down. Tim Wilson, the spokesman, said that problem can occur in late-model vehicles driven continuously for extended periods.

Wilson said the patient was transferred to another ambulance five to seven minutes later and taken to the hospital, in Northwest Washington, about eight miles from the shooting scene. Lon Walls, the fire department’s chief spokesman, said the delay “did not affect care in any way.”

Ken Molestina, WUSA-TV:

Fire officials say it wasn’t because of an attempt to let a suspected cop shooter die in their care, but because a new piece of equipment on their truck meant to reduce diesel emissions forced the ambulance to shut down.

The device which is mandated by the EPA to be on all newer model diesel vehicles is designed to burn of diesel toxins. It does it either automatically or manually. If neither of those happens during a common cycle known as a “re-generating cycle” warning lights will go off and eventually force the vehicle to lose power and shut off.

It a rare occurrence but DC Fire Deputy Chief John Donnelly says that’s appeared to have happened to Medic 19.

Donnelly said, “to my knowledge it’s never created a problem for us, but something different happened on this call.”

Critics of this EPA mandate say there should be exemptions for emergency vehicles so this won’t happen.

However, Deputy Chief Donnelly says their challenge is to work within the federal agencies restrictions.

Donnelly added, “we’re not in a position  to fight the EPA regulations and we’re not even going to try.”

A second ambulance did show up to finish the patient transport 7 minutes after Medic 19 shut down. The man was pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital.

Chief Donnelly says as soon as they get the ambulance back into the shop they will access a data recorder that will explain exactly why the ambulance got to the shut down stage.

Mark Segraves, WRC-TV/NBC4:

A D.C. ambulance transporting a gunshot victim to a hospital broke down on 295 while paramedics were performing CPR.

A second ambulance was called, and the victim, a suspect in a carjacking, was transferred to a working vehicle within 5-to-7 minutes, Fire and EMS officials said.

The man was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The delay did not cause the man’s death, according to a D.C. Fire spokesperson.

Police shot the man in Southeast. A police officer also was injured during that incident but is expected to be OK.

The ambulance was a new vehicle with an automated shut down mechanism that that tells the driver to turn off the engine after multiple hours of continued use.

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