First Responders

Texas Paramedic Gets Shot at by Gunman, Turns Around and Treats Him

September 2, 2022Joshua Skovlund
harris county

Harris County ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare ambulances and crews are posted, like this crew on Aug. 15, 2022, throughout their 177 square miles service area including a large chuck of Houston's northwest suburbs. Harris County ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare photo.

Authorities are lauding a Texas paramedic for treating an injured Houston man who’d just shot at him.

To protect the first responder, they’re not naming him. For now, he’s described only as a Harris County Emergency Services District 11 Mobile Healthcare supervisor.

Officials believe the incident began shortly after the veteran paramedic stopped to help a distressed motorist in a silver Infiniti sedan parked half on a roadway shoulder in Houston’s northwest suburbs on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

According to incarceration records, the alleged shooter, Ronnie Craig Canupp, 33, has been booked into the Harris County Jail on a $75,000 bond after being charged with aggravated assault on a public servant.

Canupp's attorney declined to comment when contacted by Coffee or Die Magazine.

harris county

Harris County Emergency Services District 11 Mobile Healthcare serves patients across 177 square miles of Texas. This July 10, 2022, photo shows crews supporting Spring Fire Department personnel while they evacuate a dozen residents during a storm in Houston. Harris County Emergency Services District 11 Mobile Healthcare photo.

Investigators believe the paramedic started assessing Canupp, realized the man was in an agitated state, and returned to his SUV to contact emergency dispatchers shortly before six shots went off.

“You typically don't respond to an incident like that, where you're trying to provide assistance and then being shot at,” Harris County ESD 11 Mobile Healthcare’s community engagement officer, Jerry Thomas, told Coffee or Die. “So there was no warning. There was nothing that would have alerted him that this was a dangerous situation.”

Although the supervisor reversed his SUV and tried to dodge the bullets, at least one of the rounds penetrated his front bumper and popped a tire.

The supervisor called for both police backup and an ambulance to help him treat the suspected gunman, authorities said.

harris county

Harris County Emergency Services District 11 Mobile Healthcare serves patients across 177 square miles of Texas, including a large chunk of Houston's northwest suburbs. Harris County Emergency Services District 11 Mobile Healthcare photo.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy Thomas Gilliland told Coffee or Die Canupp had still been armed with a semi-automatic pistol, hunkered down in a “defensive position behind his car,” when District 1 deputies rolled up after 4 a.m.

He initially refused to surrender but gave up after a second request, according to Gilliland. Deputies confiscated both a pistol and a semi-automatic rifle styled like an AR-15, he said.

ESD 11’s Thomas said this was the first direct firearms assault on a paramedic at the young agency, which launched on Sept.1, 2021.

“We have had medics that have been on a scene [where shots were fired] but not had anybody shoot directly at us, as this one was,” Thomas said. “But there have certainly been shots fired during previous 911 responses.”

harris county

On Feb. 21, 2022, Harris County Emergency Services District 11 Mobile Healthcare personnel were on the scene of a two-alarm fire in Houston, Texas. Harris County Emergency Services District 11 Mobile Healthcare photo.

Thomas said the supervisor had reported for work on the following shift. The district offers a strong resiliency program to “prepare our medics to the best of our ability” to maintain overall wellness, including mental health, Thomas said.

And like other agencies, the district’s paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians practice drills that simulate calls turning deadly. The idea is to prep first responders for very stressful moments, such as the Tuesday incident.

“The mental preparedness required to have a sustaining and rewarding career here is a challenge for medics,” Thomas said. “It's a stressful job.

“Every call is different, and you must be constantly aware of your surroundings, the environment you are entering, and the people you're engaged with. Situational awareness is critical and can be lifesaving.”

Read Next: Farewell to Slain Red-Lipstick-Wearing, Wonder-Woman Constable

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. he went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Military
‘Butter Butter Jam!’: Troops Loved, and Hated, the M249 SAW

For nearly 50 years, the SAW has played a major role in America’s wars. Now it’s being replaced by new weapons.

February 8, 2023Mac Caltrider
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Space Force Vows ‘Above and Beyond’ Cleanup of Maui Spill

Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, the commander of the U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific, said a team will t...

February 8, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Navy Releases First Photos of Chinese Balloon Recovery

In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who oppose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds want a federal appeals court to keep alive their legal fight against the Biden administration. Congress voted to end the requirement in December 2022, but vaccine opponents note that commanders can still make decisions on how and whether to deploy unvaccinated troops, under a memo signed last month by Austin. AP photo by Susan Walsh, File.
Military
Vaccine Litigation Lingers After Lifting of Military Mandate

Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who refuse to be vaccinated for religious...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Armed Forces Service Medal
Military
Who Earns the Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Department of Defense honors heroism in combat in many ways, but there is also an award — the Ar...

February 7, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Soldiers carry the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. 17 in Bakhmut, during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. AP photo by Daniel Cole.
Intel
Russian Forces Keep Up Pressue As Ukraine Anniversary Nears

Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region as M...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Chinese spy balloon
Military
Blown to Bits! Chinese Spy Balloon Blasted, Plummets Into Sea

The US Air Force downed the Chinese balloon that's been soaring over the US.

February 4, 2023Carl Prine
germany, european union, ukraine gas reserves
Intel
Ukraine Wants To Store Europe’s Strategic Gas Reserves

Ukraine maintains 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of about 31 billion cu...

February 3, 2023Nolan Peterson
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved