MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — A suicidal man in Mobile County brought a gun into an ambulance Thursday, and Mobile police say he then stole the ambulance, led officers on a chase, and ultimately killed himself.
WKRG News 5 investigates how this happened.
The paramedics with Mobile County EMS brought the man to the ambulance bay of Providence Hospital, pulled a gun on them and took off in the ambulance.
“It is much more surprising to get into a situation like this. It’s not something we would expect, and certainly pretty scary,” said Mark Turner, the executive director of Mobile County EMS.
Mobile County EMS is still working to understand how a man they were assisting pulled a gun and stole their ambulance.
“It was dispatched initially as a sick call, potential heart problems,” Turner said.
Mobile County EMS says they got the initial call of a man with heart problems at 4:41 a.m. They arrived at the Waffle House in Grand Bay on Wilmer Road South 14 minutes later, at 4:55 a.m.
It took nearly 20 minutes before they left for Providence Hospital, at 5:14 a.m. They say there were some issues with the patient.
“Some concern from the medics on scene the patient was agitated after they arrived and there was a request for the sheriff’s department to come that was later canceled because the patient calmed down,” Turner said.
When they arrived at Providence Hospital at 5:39 a.m., Mobile County EMS says their medics thought everything was normal. They were parked in the ambulance bay of the hospital.
“They turned to place the computer on the bench seat of the ambulance or the bumper or something and began to unload the stretcher as normal and when they turned back around, the gun was out at that point, and so options are few. I think they did a great job removing themselves from the situation but also alerting the ER staff they needed to lock down,” Turner said.
They say that happened within three minutes of arriving at the hospital.
Mobile County EMS says it is not normal for their medics to search or look for weapons, they aren’t trained to do that. If a call does come in abnormal or dangerous, Mobile County EMS says they yield to law enforcement.
“The ambulance would stage somewhere safe and would wait for law enforcement to go to the scene and secure the scene and make sure it was safe for the medics to come in. That was not the initial dispatch information that we received, so law enforcement wasn’t activated,” Turner said.
Mobile County EMS says they are still investigating how this happened and are planning to go over the whole situation with the medics who were working the ambulance.