DC fire truck targeted with rocks in downtown - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

DC fire truck targeted with rocks in downtown

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Two windows in the cab of a D.C. fire department ladder truck were shattered Monday night when someone threw or shot a projectile at the vehicle in the downtown area.

No one was hurt and there were no arrests, but the apparent attack comes at a time the city is using firefighters in an anti-crime initiative.

Truck 3 was either returning from or responding to a call --it's unclear -- when firefighters thought someone shot out two of the windows in the rear of the cab.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, the investigation was leading police to think the projectile was not a bullet, but a rock.

Just after noon Tuesday, firefighters manning the truck drove it to the fleet maintenance facility in Southwest D.C. where they hoped to have the windows replaced.

As they pulled into the yard, Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe came out to inspect the damage for himself.

An observer standing outside the yard could see both windows in the rear of the cab were gone -- covered now by plastic sheeting.

But after a few minutes waiting, the firefighters were told there was no glass to replace the windows and the truck was backed out.

The apparent assault comes as firefighters assigned to Engine 10 and Truck 13 in Northeast D.C. have been ordered to take part in an anti-crime initiative in the Trinidad section of the city.

According to an internal document obtained by FOX 5, the order came from the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, who told supervisors the truck and engine must be parked on the street between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. until further notice.

There were no further instructions other than Paul Quander wanted written verification it was being done.

When we first told this story last week, both firefighter and police unions were appalled.

"I think it's dangerous for everyone,” said FOP Chairman Kristopher Baumann. “It's dangerous for the firefighters and it’s dangerous for residents. The reason it’s dangerous for residents, have we reached a point where we don't have enough police officers to effectively protect the city?”

Ed Smith with the firefighters union called it a knee-jerk reaction to "what is a serious problem that is clearly a police matter and not a fire department problem.”

We wanted to talk to Chief Ellerbe, but our phone call went to voice mail.

In addition to the incident on 13th Street, firefighters on Engine 15 were on Stevens Road in Barry Farm Monday when they heard gunfire and saw what appeared to be bullets hitting the ground about 20 feet away. The target was unclear.

A spokesperson for D.C. police says officers responded to a call for gunshots, but nothing was found.

There is also conflicting information about the incident on 13th Street. Gwen Crump, a police spokesperson, says a rock was found in the cab of the truck, but Tim Wilson, a spokesperson for the fire department, says no rocks were found although investigators suspected it was caused by a rock.

As for the anti-crime initiative, it continues with no additional explanation.

Related Story:

DC firefighters deployed in anti-crime initiatives

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