An intense search for a suspect was underway in Birmingham, Alabama, after two firefighters were gunned down Wednesday in what authorities suspect was a targeted attack.
The violence unfolded at Station 9 in Birmingham’s Norwood community before 8:30 a.m. CT, around the same time firefighters started their shifts for the day, AL.com reported. They were doing routine maintenance when the shooter entered the fire station through the bay door, which is typically left open in case residents need help or some type of assistance, according to Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmond.
Three firefighters were at the station at the time, including two who were struck in the gunfire. They suffered wounds to their chest and legs and both remained hospitalized at UAB Hospital in serious condition, according to Birmingham Fire Chief Cory Moon.
Neither of the first responders wounded in the shooting, both of them male, were identified.
At least one of the victims required surgery, Thurmond added.
A preliminary investigation into the bloodshed suggests the attack was targeted.
“We don’t know why it would be a targeted attack, that’s one of the things we’re trying to determine,’’ Thurmond said. “It’s extremely unusual for someone to come target one of our fire stations and so we’re trying to see why would someone want to target one of these fire stations in Birmingham.”
He added: “Firefighters are there to protect and aid and rescue our citizens and to see them critically injured is troubling, disheartening.”
Police are currently searching for a suspect in a silver car, the police chief said.
So far, no arrests have been made, but Thurmond does not believe there to be a danger to the community at this time. He asked those with any information about the shooting to call detectives at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.
“I think there could be some individuals that could have some information on this, so we would encourage them to call us,” he said.
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