Police: Gunman Who Shot Paramedic Was 'Prepped for War'
A paramedic responding to a single-vehicle accident in Bellmore was shot and wounded by the driver - who was later shot to death in a shootout with Nassau police.
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
March 03, 2011
GARDEN CITY, NY – A crazed motorist shot and killed by Long Island cops was “prepped for war” when he opened fire on a volunteer paramedic, police said Wednesday.
Jason Beller, 31 – whose dad, oral surgeon David Beller, has an office on Central Park South – was armed for mayhem and went down firing after crashing his souped-up Ford pickup in Bellmore, L.I., about 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Justin Angell, a 20-year-old paramedic with the Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department, responded to the wreck. Expecting to treat the injured driver, Angell walked into an ambush.
“This guy was prepped for war,” Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said of the would-be Rambo. “He wanted to go to war with somebody. He was angry about something.”
Angell walked toward the pickup on Bellmore Ave., and Beller suddenly started firing a Chinese-made semiautomatic rifle with a laser scope. “It was crazy, gunshots going off everywhere,” said Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert Taylor.
Angell, who was recovering at Nassau University Medical Center on Wednesday, was hit once in the hip. “It is clear to us this man was out to commit mayhem somewhere in this county,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey said.
The motorist was packing an arsenal of guns and is believed to have planned a spree shooting.
Beller’s family expressed their sadness in a statement on Wednesday night. “We pray that Mr. Angell fully recovers and is not disheartened from continuing his great community service,” the statement read.
In a strange twist, Angell’s brother, Dean, was part of the same ambulance crew that responded to the suburban block turned into a combat zone.
At one point, one of the volunteers in that crew positioned the ambulance between Justin Angell and the shooter – shielding their co-worker from further injury.
Three officers arrived as paramedics pulled Angell to safety. The cops were locked in a brief shootout with Beller. The first two officers were on the driver’s side of the pickup as a K-9 unit cop crept up on the other side and blew Beller away.
When police got a closer look at the suspect and his vehicle, they found him dead behind the wheel. He had a hunting rifle strapped to his body, a 9-mm. Luger pistol under his seat, a .357 magnum revolver – and enough ammunition to arm several soldiers. In all, he had six weapons, including rifles and semiautomatic handguns. All the weapons were loaded.
Hours before the gunplay, Beller had argued with a woman and stormed out of his Commack, L.I., home, authorities said. Described by neighbors as a weird, unfriendly loner, he recently moved to Long Island from Florida.