Gun Put To Firefighter's Head during Rescue Attempt in Tacoma, Washington
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A woman being carried out of a burning house put a gun to a firefighter's head and pulled the trigger repeatedly but was out of bullets following the shooting death of her boyfriend, police say.
The woman, in her late 50s, was hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation Monday. Once she is released she will be jailed for investigation of first-degree murder and two counts of assault, officer Mark Fulghum said.
Police and fire investigators said she apparently tried to set fire to the house in a suicide attempt after the shooting of her longtime boyfriend, 65.
There was no known history of domestic violence between two or any obvious motive, at least ''nothing she's mentioned,'' Fulghum said. ''It kind of doesn't make a whole lot of sense.''
Lighter fluid, white gasoline and charcoal starter were poured throughout the 1˝-story house and ignited before fire crews were dispatched shortly before 5 a.m., but the fire never spread much beyond the kitchen, Deputy Fire Chief Ronald W. Stephens said.
Matt Carlisle, 28, said that as he and two other firefighters entered the smoke-filled house, they heard ''three distinct popping sounds'' which he thought were from exploding light bulbs. Investigators now believe the sounds were gunshots, Fulghum said.
Carlisle said he could see barely three feet as he and another firefighter began trying to carry the woman and her dead boyfriend, whom they did not know had been shot, out of a basement bedroom.
Suddenly, he said, ''There was a commotion going on next to me, a struggle between all my crew members and the (woman) ... hands and arms flailing about.''
Then Carlisle learned that another firefighter, Damon Semingson, wrestled a handgun from the woman after she put it to his head and pulled the trigger repeatedly. He saw the gun, which was out of bullets, in the beam of another firefighter's flashlight.
''Obviously, it kind of makes me take a step back and realize how lucky I am - and how lucky I am to have a crew member like Damon, who realized the threat and acted on it without really any regard for his own safety,'' he said. ''I kind of dodged the proverbial bullet.''
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03-09-2005, 12:17 AM #1
Gun Pulled on Firefighter during Rescue
03-09-2005, 12:34 AM #2
I can't say much more right now as the shock of just thinking about that is a bit overwhelming right now.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
03-09-2005, 01:25 AM #3
I don't know what is more scary, the fire, or the fact that crazy people are out there who are willing to kill themselves and their rescuers. Glad our brothers are safe.9/11/01 D.C. Joseph "Uncle Joe" Marchbanks
Heaven In Harlem
03-09-2005, 09:03 AM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
- Owego, NY
Kind of dumb on her part. If he shot her boyfriend, and the fire was meant to kill her, she shouldn't have tried to kill her rescuer, but herself instead.
Aside from that......WOW! I can't even imagine being in his shoes. I guess it was just his lucky day.FF/EMT
"Tioga Fire this is Owego 874...."
03-09-2005, 09:14 AM #5
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- Covington, La
This makes me sick....realy, it makes me want to vomit. I hate cowardly people like that. If you want to kill yourself, fine, do it. But do not do it in a way that puts other peoples lives and property at risk. So what your life is messed up and not worth anything, go kill yourself, but dont put my life on the line to do it.
03-09-2005, 10:44 AM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
Ridiculous, is all that I can say. I have alot of issues with people that talk badly about their rescues that risk their lives for others. I am glad that the crew pulled out of this situation safely. I just can't understand why anyone would try to kill their rescuer.. unless she wanted to die and did not want to be rescued. Hmm.. Some confusing people out there.
03-09-2005, 11:03 AM #7
Scary. This was actually a scenario used on us during an Advanced SCBA class. The instructors were trying to emphasize that we identify who we were ("firefighter coming in") before entering a structure. I was first in, and forgot, so they tapped me on the shoulder, said "bang, you're dead" and there I laid. Absolutely horrible that it has actually happened."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
03-10-2005, 08:34 PM #8
This took place about seven blocks from where I grew up. There is a special disgust I have for people who choose to take other lives when trying (successfully or otherwise) to take their own.
Woman charged with arson, murder
STACEY MULICK; The News Tribune
Nancy Carol LeBovic had had enough of the world and came up with a plan to kill herself about three weeks ago, according to court documents.
She didn’t share her plans with her longtime partner, George Peter Hartman, but decided to kill him as well so he wouldn’t be left alone.
Prosecutors allege LeBovic, 59, fatally shot Hartman, 65, early Monday as he slept in the basement of his East Side Tacoma home. She then set fire to the house and laid down beside him, awaiting her death from smoke inhalation, court documents state.
Firefighters found the two shortly after 4:30 a.m., when a neighbor reported smoke coming from the house.
Now, LeBovic faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree arson and attempted first-degree murder. She entered pleas of not guilty Wednesday to the charges.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper ordered her held on $1 million bail. An attorney for her could not be reached for comment.
LeBovic told investigators she and Hartman didn’t have any major problems or health concerns, and there is no history of domestic violence involving the couple. When asked why she wanted to commit suicide, she said she’d had enough of the world and had concerns about the government.
About 3 a.m. Monday, she shot Hartman in the head, court documents say. She then put clothes soaked in fuel throughout the house in the 4600 block of South Bell Street, lit them on fire and returned to the basement.
“She said her plan was to inhale as much smoke as she could because she had read that three-fourths of fire victims die from smoke inhalation and she decided to choose that method to die,” court documents state. “She said she thought that if she breathed deeply she would succumb to the smoke but ‘it didn’t happen.’”
A neighbor called 911 at 4:36 a.m. after seeing smoke coming from the house. Two firefighters went into the house and, through the thick smoke, found Hartman and LeBovic in the basement, court documents state.
Firefighter Damon Semingson went to LeBovic’s side of the bed and saw her pointing a gun at the other firefighter as she pulled the trigger, hence the attempted murder charge. Semingson pulled the gun from LeBovic’s hands and firefighters got LeBovic and Hartman out of the house, court documents state. The other firefighter was not injured.
Hartman was already dead.
LeBovic was taken to Tacoma General Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and released Tuesday.
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