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ambulanceA Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health paramedic wrestled and recovered a loaded handgun from a man whose vehicle crashed with an ambulance around 12:30 a.m. this morning, authorities said. The Jersey Journal reports.

Police are currently searching for the suspect and believe the vehicle he was in was also involved in non-fatal shooting in Downtown Jersey City earlier this morning.

The ambulance was transporting a patient when a Honda Accord traveling at a high rate of speed crossed into the ambulance’s lane crashing into the vehicle on Caven Point Road and Chapel Avenue, according to Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill.

The Honda sustained significant front end damage and was disabled. The driver then got out of the car, stumbled and opened his trunk, and then reached for a black handgun that was in the back of his pants pocket, Morrill said.

The paramedic, who has prior law enforcement experience, noticed him reach for the weapon and wrestled it from the suspect who then fled on foot, Morrill added.

As police responded to the scene, the other paramedic remained with the patient, who was in the ambulance and was stable at the time. The car was impounded and police canvassed the area for the suspect, but only found discarded clothing. Meanwhile, the paramedic who recovered the weapon was transported to the JCMC for complaints of pain, Morrill said.

A request to interview the paramedic was turned down by Jersey City Medical Center officials, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

“We recognize our highly trained paramedics for the professionalism they showed last night in a difficult and dangerous situation and we thank the Jersey City Police Department for their assistance and support,” said Robert Luckritz, director of EMS at Jersey City Medical Center.

Jersey City Medical Center spokesman Mark Rabson added that EMS and hospital employees receive “violence protection training.”

“The safety of our staff and patients is always our first priority,” said Rabson.

In the earlier incident, a 20-year-old man from 10th Street told police he was walking north on Manilla Avenue when a man got out of a dark, two-door Honda near Fourth Street just before 12:30 a.m. and shot at him and his friends, Morrill said.

The man ran to his home several blocks away and was then taken to the JCMC by his mother. The victim sustained a non-life threatening injury to his left bicep, but would not provide police with any names of the friends who were with him at the time of the shooting, Morrill said.

However, the victim did give police a description of the vehicle, Morrill said, adding he has been charged previously with narcotics, theft, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.

Police were unable to locate a crime scene, evidence or witnesses at the location provided by the victim.

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