A Staten Island EMT recalled the moment he was shot in the shoulder by a “suicidal” intoxicated patient on Wednesday night.
Richard McMahon, 25, discussed his terrifying ordeal during an interview with The Post while recovering at his Shore Acres home after being discharged from Richmond University Medical Center on Thursday.
McMahon had responded to a 911 call for an unconscious person outside Funkey Monkey Lounge on Forest Avenue and Llewellyn Place in Port Richmond around 7:40 p.m., officials said.
Thomas McCauley, 37, was laying on the ground when McMahon assessed him and decided he needed medical treatment, the EMT said.
“I was asking him questions in the back of the ambulance as we drove, you know, patient history,” McMahon explained.
“I asked if he had any medications and he said that he had a psych history. So I asked him if he was suicidal and he said ‘yes.’
“I was writing down the medications that he should have been taking and … I looked up and there was a gun pointed directly at me. I heard ‘Bang!’ and as the shot came out I flinched,” said McMahon, who said he was only three feet away from the suspect.
McMahon then yelled out “I’m shot! I’m shot!” to his partner, who pulled over to the side of the road, he recounted.
“As she was coming around I pulled the gun from his hands. I twisted it out of his hands and when she opened the door I was still struggling with him,” the heroic EMT said.
McCauley fled out the back of the ambulance on foot but was caught with the help of a retired NYPD detective and off-duty Department of Sanitation Lieutenant Joseph Perrone, police said.
McMahon said the attack caught him totally off guard, but in retrospect, he believes the suicidal suspect wanted to be killed by police.
“He seemed like your everyday drunk at the bar who just drank too much. He didn’t seem dangerous,” McMahon said.
“But now thinking back and knowing what he had on him, I think it was premeditated.
“I think he had a plan. I think he was suicidal and trying to get himself killed. I don’t know if he thought I was a cop or what but, I think he had a plan.”
Police did not respond to the initial 911 call because it was designated as an “ambulance case,” the NYPD said.
Charges were still pending against McCauley Thursday evening, police said.
McMahon, who was being tended to by his mother Kathleen and girlfriend Alexa, said the event feels like “a bad dream.”
“I’ve had combative patients before but none that pulled a gun on the way to the hospital! Unfortunately, it’s the world we live in. It happens much more than is made public” he said.
Perrone, a member of the Department of Sanitation’s environmental police, spoke to The Post at the hospital where he was visiting McMahon before the wounded man was taken home in an ambulance with a Rolling Thunder escort.
“I live in the community. I was out with my family on the corner of Piedmont and Forest when I heard a commotion. I heard the EMT screaming, ‘He shot my partner! He shot my partner!’” Perrone explained.
The off-duty officer then jumped into action to help the retired cop who had caught up with McCauley, who was “incoherent,” he said.
“I didn’t have cuffs on me but I helped subdue him then I noticed the gun. I just had to remove the gun from the situation,” Perrone said.
McMahon had profusely thanked the Sanitation worker for coming to his aid during their visit, Perrone told The Post.
“He’s doing good. He’s in good spirits. He’s very lucky and he knows he’s very lucky. It could have been a lot worse!”