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2 N.M. firefighters report they were shot at while responding to fire

The two told Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies they heard gunshots, saw a man chasing them as they fled and saw what looked like a bullet hit the ground nearby

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By Nathan Lederman
The Santa Fe New Mexican

SANTA FE, N.M. — Two Santa Fe County firefighters told investigators they were shot at Tuesday night while responding to reports of smoke on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputies met with the firefighters shortly after 7:30 p.m. near the area of Via Del Caballo northwest of Santa Fe, according to an incident report provided by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. The firefighters said they were responding to a call when they reached Via Estancia and saw smoke to the southwest.

After walking in about a mile, the pair of firefighters stumbled upon a green Toyota FJ Cruiser with a visor covering the front windshield and spotted smoke smoldering near the SUV. When the firefighters called out to the vehicle, a man wearing a black hoodie and black pants got out of the SUV and started yelling at them to leave, according to the incident report.


Image/Santa Fe County Fire Department

Shortly after the firefighters identified themselves, one of them told investigators he heard what sounded like gunshots. The pair heard more gunshots as they fled, according to the report, and saw the hooded man chasing after them. Both firefighters said they saw what appeared to be a bullet hit the ground near them.

Two teams consisting of deputies and New Mexico State Police officers searched the area on foot and in vehicles but did not find the hooded suspect or his green SUV in the area.

Santa Fe County spokeswoman Cindy McKee wrote in an email four firefighters — two career personnel with the department’s Squad 62 and two career firefighters with the Agua Fria Fire District’s Engine 1 — were sent to respond to the smoke.

After the two firefighters fled the hooded suspect, McKee wrote, the engine crew started to run its sirens and lights in hopes of frightening the alleged assailant.

She did not respond to questions on whether any of the firefighters will be given time off or undergo any evaluations as a result of the incident.


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