Ala. FF wounded in fire station shooting released from hospital
Birmingham firefighter Jamal Jones went home with a surprise promotion
By Carol Robinson
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Birmingham firefighter Jamal Jones has been released from the hospital after he was shot multiple times at Fire Station 9 nearly one month ago, a shooting that also killed another firefighter.
Not only is Jones now recovering at home, but he has also been promoted to the rank of sergeant.
Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Chief Cory Moon said Jones was going through the promotional process before the July 12 shooting that critically injured Jones and killed 29-year-old Jordan Melton.
Last Friday, Moon went to UAB Hospital to surprise Jones with the news that he had received his promotion.
“That was a happy and special moment,’’ Moon said. “I could not have been more excited for him and his family.”
“He was so excited and happy. He was shocked,’’ Moon said.
It’s unclear when Jones will be able to return to work.
“He has a long road ahead of him before that’s even considered,’’ Moon said.
The shooting happened just before 8:30 a.m. that Wednesday.
Birmingham police and Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service were called to the station, at 1228 27th St. North, where the firefighters had reportedly been shot in the chest and legs.
At least one caller reported hearing shots and ran to take cover in the bathroom.
Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmond said the shooter entered the fire station through the open bay door, which typically remains open to be accessible to residents who need their blood pressure checked or other help or information.
The shooting happened shortly after they started their shift.
Both wounded firefighters were taken to UAB Hospital. Melton died five days later and was remembered at his July 26 funeral an ambitious young man with an infectious smile and an unfailing love for those around him.
No arrests have been made, and a reward of more than $40,000 remains in place.
“Obviously, everybody is still heartbroken,’’ Moon said. Thursda. “We’ve been shaken as a department but we’re unbroken.”
“Everybody is working through the mental scars that this is going to leave,’’ he said. “Everybody has pulled together as a family and looking out for each other.”
Counseling has been set up for the entire department.
Fire Station 9 has been shut down since the shooting. The firefighters assigned to that firehouse are currently working out of Station 8.
“I didn’t want to re-traumatize the personnel by moving them back in too quickly,’’ Moon said. “We’re trying to do it in a methodical way. We’re trying to do some station improvements to make it an easier transition to go back to their home.”
“They’re ready to back,’’ he said, “but we want to make sure it’s done right so they have a fresh start.”