EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –Justin Angell, the 20-year-old volunteer firefighter shot in the hip by a gunman on Long Island Tuesday night, left the hospital Thursday.
Angell was greeted warmly by his colleagues and was fully aware this could have turned out much worse.
Justin Angell said he feels fine and is happy to be alive, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports
“I’m still in shock. I mean, it really doesn’t make any sense, but it’s part of emergency work. It can happen to anyone, anywhere. It just goes to show you that you can’t take advantage of just the simple things,” Angell said.
Angell said he didn’t feel it when he was shot and credited his fellow firefighters with quickly coming to his aid.
“Once I felt the pain I just started running as fast as I could,” Angell said. “I’m just glad that I’m alive.”
Friends, Co-workers applaud as shot firefighter leaves hospital, reports WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.
Earlier, the frantic 911 call that reported the Bellmore shooting was released.
An alarmed EMT can be heard shouting “He’s shooting at us!” on the recording.
Nassau County police said the shooter, identified by his family as 31-year-old Jason Beller of Commack, crashed his truck into a utility pole. When first responders hustled to the scene to rescue him, police say Beller opened fire, shooting Angell.
Nassau police responding to the scene shot Beller dead. They soon learned he was carrying an arsenal of weapons. Police said Beller was apparently on his way to cause “mayhem” – possibly intending to go on a shooting spree.
Neighbors in Commack, where Beller lived with his wife and child for the past year, described him as polite.
“To have all those guns – I am really without words,” neighbor Nancy Hertel told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan. “I just know that he kept to himself.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Long Island Shooter’s Weapons Cache
The 911 recordings were posted by the website FireSceneAudio.com and reveal anxious inquiries from the emergency dispatcher, who certainly wasn’t expecting a shootout at the site of a simple car crash.
The frantic conversation heard on the tape is alarming:
EMT: “A man is shooting out of the vehicle that got into the accident!”
Dispatcher: “A male is shooting a gun?”
EMT: “10-4. That’s affirmative. A male shooting a gun!”
Officers that responded to the scene moments later immediately realized Beller had trained his laser-sighted weapons on them. They shot Beller dead, preventing what investigators believed could have been a bloody rampage.
Police Commissioner Larry Mulvey listed Beller’s arms while commending officers’ efforts in ending the potential mayhem.
“He has strapped to his chest a firearm with a scope. He has in his lap a long-barreled revolver. He has in his pocket a semi-automatic pistol. He has a TEC-9 behind the passenger seat,” Mulvey said. “Had he not been stopped by the police, there could very well have been mayhem committed somewhere in this community.”
“It’s pretty scary, it could’ve been a lot worse, thank God I wasn’t that close,” Angell said. “I didn’t even get a good look at him, I just remember shutting the door of the ambulance and running.”
Newsday reports the gunman’s family apologized to Angell and described Beller as “extremely troubled.”
A motive for the shooting remains unclear.