DALLAS - The Dallas paramedic shot while responding to a call Monday is still in critical condition.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans identified him as 36-year-old William An. He has worked for the department for the past 10 years at Station 19.
Evans said An’s friends and co-workers stayed with his family at the hospital overnight to make sure they had everything they needed. He is married and has a 3-year-old son. He and his wife are also expecting another child.
“We ask that you continue to keep not only the department and all the agencies involved but most importantly their family in your thoughts and prayers as his condition continues to improve,” Evans said. “He has been in and out of sleep and able to verbalize things to the medics. Last night, I received word that he complained of having a lot of pain, which is completely understandable."
On Monday An was responding to a call about a suicide around 11:30 a.m. in Old East Dallas. Police say it turns out Derick Lamont Brown, who was the subject of an FBI investigation, had actually shot and killed Arthur Riggins. His family described him as Brown’s godfather and spiritual advisor.
A neighbor who heard the shots went outside and was also shot by Brown, police said. That's who firefighter paramedics were treating when Brown opened fire again with a high powered rifle.
The critically wounded first responder, William An, lay bleeding from a severe leg wound as Dallas police moved in. While still under fire, a Dallas Police Sergeant Robert Watson rescued An and took him to the hospital.
A total of nine officers were involved in the confrontation and rescue. One of them was hit in the leg by bullet fragments. Another officer then fired at Brown, wounding him before he retreated into his house.
As one detective with the Dallas Police Department put it, the officers "stared death in the face" and went "beyond the call of duty" to rescue the paramedic while they were still in the line of fire.
“The sergeant went above and beyond, as many of the Dallas police officers do each and every day, and subjected himself to extreme risk of danger,” said DPD Chief David Pughes. “And he went in alone and pulled the paramedic out, placed him in his squad car and drove him to Baylor hospital.”
Another officer was able to fire one shot at Brown before he retreated. Police believe he was hit, but the injury was not life threatening.
Police searched for hours and finally sent a robot into Brown’s home on Reynolds Avenue, which is near Dolphin Road and Interstate 30. He was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Brown’s roommate, Arthur Riggins, was also found dead in the home. Police now believe Brown killed Riggins before the other shootings.
Brown’s sister told FOX 4 she knew he was under stress but never expected it to end like this.
“I don’t know what happened today. I couldn’t see him doing anything like that,” Dekisha Bryant said. “I wish it wouldn’t have happened and I’m sad for everyone. Everybody lost. Everybody lost.”
Even though Brown was wounded by police, they believe he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had a criminal history dating back to 1996 that includes convictions for drunken driving, assault and carrying a weapon without a license.
An FBI spokesperson said they've been investigating Brown but couldn’t reveal the details of the investigation since it is still active.
Brown may have attracted federal attention as the head of the new Black Panther Party in Dallas in the early 2000s.
The FBI did say they were in communication with DPD as soon as they knew who was involved in the incident, but the special agent in charge also pointed out that Brown was not on any FBI "watch list."