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Man fired at ambulance with 79-year-old patient inside because it would not get out of the way, police say

A man who fired a gun at an ambulance carrying a 79-year-old patient in Logan Square on Wednesday night has been arrested, police said.

The man, 39, was in a white Acura in the 2600 block of North Hamlin Avenue about 9:30 p.m. when he began honking his horn and screaming at the Chicago Fire Department ambulance to get out of his way, according to police.

As paramedics were working on the patient inside the ambulance, they heard someone banging on the outside, trying to open the doors. Then they heard something that sounded like fireworks as the man fired several shots into the back doors of the ambulance, according to a police report.

Chad Finken, 46, was at a friend’s house when he heard banging and yelling outside.

When he looked out the front window, he saw the white car backing away from the ambulance and thought it would continue to reverse out of the one-way street. Then he saw an arm appear from the driver’s side of the vehicle.

“The driver basically pulled out a handgun and started firing,” Finken told the Sun-Times.

After hearing the shots, Finken dropped to the ground and called 911.

“The cops showed up real quick,” he said. “I called the cops, and they were there within a moment.”

The man fled in the Acura but was pulled over by police and taken into custody, police said. A loaded handgun and at least two spent shell casings were found inside the car, the report said.

The paramedics did not realize the ambulance had “multiple bullet holes” in the back doors until they dropped the patient at St. Mary’s Hospital.

One resident on the block said he encountered the Acura driver on the road nearby earlier Wednesday.

The resident, who didn’t want to be identified, said he was turning “a little slowly” at a stop sign when the man “laid on his horn.”

He later recognized the car and the man’s temper as the white car pulled up behind the ambulance.

“He’s frustrated that the ambulance is blocking him, so he’s laying on the horn just like he did behind me,” the resident said.

The resident said he saw the gun in the man’s hand and heard “at least seven shots.”

When the shots were fired, the resident “jumped a little” but continued watching.

He later spoke with detectives and checked the streets for shell casings.

The resident said “it was one thing to hear the shots from a mile and a half away, but it was pretty scary to see it.”

The River Grove man, who does not have a valid firearm owner identification card or concealed carry license, was on parole for an aggravated battery with a firearm conviction, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

“I was definitely caught off guard,” Finken said. “The idea of shooting at an ambulance is something I thought I’d never see.”


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