by: Larry Spruill Updated:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Station 28 was shot at in a drive-by shooting on Tuesday night.
Jacksonville Association of Firefighters President Randy Wyse confirmed to Action News that firefighters called him and told him about the shooting.
According to Lt. Jackson Short of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, five or six firefighters were outside of Station 28 pumping gas at the city gas pumps next to the station at the time of the shooting.
A firefighter was hit in the arm by a ricochet bullet, but his injury is minor and he will not need stitches, Short said.
The firefighters who were outside during the shooting were not able to get a good look at the suspect vehicle because lights were in their eyes, but they did give JSO a description of tail lights.
A ladder truck has a small indentation from what appears to be a bullet, but is still OK to operate. The station's gas pumps were not hit in the shooting.
Short said JSO believes the firefighters were targeted because they were in a very well-lit area and clearly dressed in uniform. Short also said there is no reason to connect this drive-by to what's happening elsewhere in the country, like the fatal shooting of two officers in New York.
JFRD Chief Ivan Mote said this incident may be a copycat from previous shootings on uniformed officers, not just across the country but locally as well.
"We're concerned about the safety of our firefighters. Of course our job is to protect people from incidents such as this, so first and foremost, we want to make sure our crews are safe," Mote said.
Mayor Alvin Brown released the following statement:
"I am outraged by cowardly attacks on our brave first responders. These attacks will not be tolerated. As Mayor, I will do everything in my power to protect the firefighters and police officers who work so hard to keep us safe. We will coordinate with the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and others to safeguard our dedicated fire and police personnel. They deserve no less."
Jacksonville City Council President Clay Yarborough released the following statement:
"I just spoke with JFRD Chief Martin Senterfitt who assured me they and JSO are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of our first responders as they continue working hard through Christmas and in spite of these senseless acts to protect us."
Wyse also released a statement on the drive-by:
"We are glad the injury to our brother was minor. We have faith our JSO brothers will find who perpetrated this cowardice act. This is a perfect example of how the COJs (City of Jacksonville's) public safety officers face danger every second they are on duty."
Firefighters have been ordered to put all vehicles inside their bays and close the doors. An alert came over the dispatch system alerting all stations, a source told Action News.
Another source tells Action News firefighters are being told to be dilligent in their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to the JSO.
Short said JSO is asking for tips from the public, asking citizens to keep an eye out on social media for anyone talking about or posting anything about the shooting.