Texas Gunman Hijacks Ambulance With Patient Still Inside

By Anna Gallegos

July 23, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Authorities in Houston are trying to figure out what motivated a man to hijack an ambulance in the early hours of Friday, July 23.

Paramedics were transporting a patient to the hospital when a car stopped in front of the moving ambulance near the 610 West Loop and Beechnut around 3 a.m. The driver pointed a gun at the EMT driving the ambulance and took over the vehicle, KHOU reported.

One EMT was left on the side of the road as the hijacker drove off with another EMT and the patient still inside the ambulance.

The remaining paramedic checked on the driver when she noticed the ambulance traveling away from the hospital. Instead of seeing her partner, she saw the hijacker pointing a gun at her while driving.

The EMT helped keep the patient calm during the ordeal.

"She de-escalated the incident by essentially not panicking," Houston Fire Chief Sam Peña told KTRK. "She remained calm throughout the incident."

The EMT contacted authorities, who were able to track the vehicle's GPS.

Meanwhile, the hijacker was trying to use the ambulance's emergency radio to get in contact with someone.

Police officers were able to force the hijacker off the road near Southwest Freeway at Weslayan, and they took him into custody.

The patient and the EMT were fine but shaken up. A second ambulance took the patient to the hospital.

“This is not part of their jobs — to be kidnapped, to be assaulted at gunpoint, but it definitely has become a risk of the job,” Peña said. “We’re very thankful that everybody is okay, but it’s not acceptable for our firefighters and EMTs to be assaulted when their job is to go out there and make a positive impact.”

Police haven't identified the hijacker or his motive.

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