Mara H. Gottfried
Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.
Dec. 8—The original report of four people shot at a St. Paul bar was serious, but not a situation emergency responders hadn’t seen before.
As St. Paul Fire Capt. Mark Munson’s crew tended to a woman who was mortally wounded outside the Seventh Street Truck Park bar on Oct. 10, he walked down the street and “the scene unrolled in front of me — there’s a victim to the right at the curb, another victim who appeared to have a gunshot wound to his neck on the sidewalk, another one up ahead on the left with a leg injury,” Munson recalled Tuesday. He triaged patients, assessing who needed medical attention most urgently.
It turned out 15 people were hurt in the shootout and Marquisha Wiley, 27, died at the scene. In Munson’s 20 years as a firefighter, he’s never experienced anything like the situation that night and he said he hopes he never does again.
Fire Chief Butch Inks announced commendations for Munson and District Fire Chief John Galle, and honored 38 additional firefighters on Tuesday. He said they demonstrated “quick action, dedication to duty and courage” in “running towards the sounds of chaos and danger.”
The city’s firefighters also work as paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
Wiley and most of the people shot in the crowded food hall and bar near the Xcel Energy Center were innocent bystanders, police have said. Terry Lorenzo Brown Jr., 33, and Devondre Trevon Phillips, 29, are charged in the case. The shootout apparently began over an allegation that Brown had abused his girlfriend, a relative of Phillips, according to court documents.
Ten ambulances and three fire rigs were dispatched to the shooting, totaling 52 firefighters — almost half the crews on duty, Inks said. The last patient was on the way to the hospital within 30 minutes, according to Munson.
Mayor Melvin Carter said Tuesday that the shooting was “unthinkable, something so horrific and traumatic,” changing families forever.
Turning to look at the firefighters, Carter told them: “I can’t imagine the trauma that it took, that you had to expose yourself to, to jump into that scene, to triage, to care for families, to care for victims. … We thank you for your heroism, we thank you for your bravery.”
Munson said he’s also proud of the work of the city’s firefighters. “Those patients had the best initial care possible,” he said.
St. Paul firefighters work 24-hour shifts and have beds at their stations, but Munson said he lost sleep after the middle-of-the-night shooting in October. What happened “kept running … through my head,” he said.
In addition to Munson and Galle, Inks honored:
— Firefighters Ryan G. Burns, Ryan Eckert, Bernard Foster, Tanner Hanke, Shaun Harris, Thomas Hernandez, Chris Hornyak, Steven Johnson, Korey Ketchmark, Tou Lee, Bryce Lindahl, Andrew Martinez, Cody Mittelstaedt, Anthony Probasco, Sarah Reasoner, Roberto Rodriguez, Megan Roesler, Kevin Sak, Ulicer Sanchez, William Siems, Thomas Svihel, Matthew Swenson and Lance Thompson.
— Fire Equipment Operators Mike Christopherson, Al Fonseca, Nick Hansen, Jim Hoel, Douglas Johnson, Nicholas Kuehneman, Brian Miller, Chuck Perbix and Chuck Schwartz.
— Captains Ryan Christopherson, Juan Morin, Eric Papp, Nate Sole, Josh Tweed and Nathan Wiley.
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