Fire officials say it wasn't because of an attempt to let a suspected cop shooter die in their care, but because a new piece of equipment on their truck meant to reduce diesel emissions forced the ambulance to shut down.
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D.C. police officers fired their weapons in two shootings that occurred in broad daylight Wednesday.
A suspect in a carjacking was killed and a police officer sustained minor injuries when the two exchanged gunfire around 2:20 p.m. in the Washington Highlands neighborhood in Southeast D.C., police spokesman Officer Hugh Carew said.
Police said the incident began when a carjacking victim flagged down the officer to report the theft. The officer spotted the car and began following it. While in the 800 block of Barnaby Street Southeast the drivers exchanged gunfire.
While it was initially reported that the officer had been grazed by a bullet, police later said they could not confirm how the officer was injured. The man, who was not immediately identified, died from his injuries.
The emergency response was complicated by the fact that the ambulance carrying the man to Howard University Hospital was forced to pull over en route because an emissions system problem caused it to shut down. The year-old ambulance went straight from a hospital to the scene of the shooting and had been continuously running for too long, D.C. fire department spokesman Tim Wilson said.
When a check-engine light came on signaling the ambulance was about to shut down, the driver had to pull off Interstate 295 and wait for about five minutes until another ambulance could respond and pick up the carjacking suspect.
Emergency workers continued to perform CPR on the man, and Mr. Wilson said the delay "wouldn't have had any impact" on the man's chances of survival.
Another officer-involved shooting took place across the city along Benning Road in Northeast D.C. approximately 40 minutes before the fatal shooting.
In that shooting, an off-duty police officer witnessed a robbery taking place in the 200 block of 33rd Street Northeast. The officer was in uniform but it was not clear why, Officer Carew said.
The officer exchanged gunfire with suspects, who drove away in a green Honda Accord. It was not known whether the suspects were struck by gunfire as they escaped, but police said the off-duty officer was not injured.