2 photographers shot while covering Ind. house fire

Editor's note: One of the photographers shot was Tod Parker, a frequent contributor to FireRescue1. The FR1 team wishes Tod the best, and you can check out his site at PhotoTac.com.

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — A TV news cameraman and a freelance photographer were shot while covering a fire at a vacant house early today, and police later made an arrest in the case.

Neither man was seriously injured and both were released after treatment at Methodist Hospital, police said.

The incident occurred about 2:30 a.m. as firefighters battled a fire at a vacant house on the city's near east side.

WISH-TV photographer Kevin Hankins, 23, said he was filming the fire scene about 2:30 a.m. when he was shot in the back.

"All of a sudden I felt and heard a smack and a pop on my left back,'' he said. He lifted his shirt and discovered he was bleeding.

Freelance photographer Tod Parker, who was working for the Indianapolis Fire Department, was shot in the arm.

A bullet also apparently struck an air tank worn by a firefighter, but the firefighter was not injured, Indianapolis police spokesman Sgt. Paul Thompson said.

A police SWAT team detained a man described as a person of interest in the case shortly before noon. The man was identified as Derek L. Matthews, who lives across the street from where the fire occurred.

Derek L. Matthews, described as a person of interest in the case, was arrested about nine hours later, police Maj. William Benjamin said.

He had spoken to the photographers before they were shot, asking why they weren't around when he had been shot two weeks earlier.

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