Police in Youngstown, Ohio are looking into the possibility that a man who argued with firefighters during a house fire is also the person who fired at a fire engine wounding one firefighter.
The shots were fired as Engine 7 left the house fire on Elm Street around 11:30 p.m. Monday. Paul Lutton, the driver of Engine 7 was struck in the leg. A second bullet went through the coat of Firefighter Dwyain Montgomery, narrowly missing his chest.
Lutton was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital for treatment of injuries that police say are not life threatening.
Another bullet cut through the front of the coat of another firefighter who was not injured.
A look inside the fire truck shows where one of the bullets went through the driver’s compartment.
Police, who call the shooting intentional, tell 21 News that while crews were fighting the fire on Elm Street, firefighters became engaged in a verbal altercation with a man on the scene.
While they were fighting the fire, crews had to call city police to the scene, complaining that a man kept walking and driving through the area. (Fire Chief John) O’Neill said the man actually exchanged words with some of the firefighters, and the shooting happened an hour or so later.
Although firefighters did give a description of the man they saw at the fire scene and the car he was driving, investigators aren’t sure if that is the man who fired at firefighters. Police are looking for him, while arson investigators are trying to determine who set the house on fire.
“The firefighter shot in the leg is — I saw him early again this morning — seems to be doing quite well, under the circumstances. A lot of pain, obviously. Hopefully he might get released today if all goes well,” he said.
“He was taken to the hospital and is being treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound,” Capt. Brad Blackburn said in a news release. “It appears that engine No. 7 was hit by two bullets that entered the passenger compartment.”
Lutton is being treated at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. Fire Chief John O’Neill said he was told if the recovery process is good today, Lutton will be sent home without surgery.
Fire Investigator Capt. Kurt Wright said the home that caught on fire Monday evening also caught on fire in June.