TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - A first responder for the Timmonsville Rescue Squad was shot at the Byrd Cemetery Friday at about 9:40 a.m., according to the Florence County Sheriff's Office and the victim's co-workers.
The victim was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound, which is not expected to be life-threatening, according to Maj. Michael Nunn with the FCSO. He called over his radio to dispatch help and told EMS he was shot.
Co-workers of the victim, who has worked for the rescue squad for over 20 years, said he was visiting a friend's grave site at the time of the shooting.
"Like anything else, at first you don't want to believe it, that maybe you didn't hear correctly, but then very quickly it settled in and yes this did happen and it's going on," said paramedic Neal Jones. So like I said, we pretty much emptied the building going to his assistance when he called it in."
They said he was shot in the right shoulder. Emergency responders found him lying on the ground behind his vehicle.
EMS paramedics found the victim lying on the ground behind his vehicle with a gunshot wound to his shoulder. They added he was driving into Byrd Cemetery on Layton Drive to visit a grave site when the shooting occurred..
The victim's friends loaded him into an ambulance, where he was often treating others, instead of the other way around.
"He was calm; he knew he was with us," said Lisa Dorriety, an EMT with the Timmonsville Rescue Squad. "He knew he was with family, and he seemed to be okay."
Dorriety said they are all family at the Timmonsville Rescue Squad, which has been around for 50 years. She added their friend always makes sure everyone else around him is safe in the community and all around.
"First responding is his heart," Dorriety said. "He loves it, he loves the community, he loves the people."
No one knows why the shooting took place, and they said they are still in shock.
"For someone to do this to him, it's heartbreaking, it makes me angry for the good people out there to be done this way," said Dorriety.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers or the Florence County Sheriff's Office.