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The suspect who is believed to have fired on firefighters and police as they responded to his traffic crash had a stash of weapons, ammo strapped to his arm and was "bent on mayhem," according to the Nassau County police commissioner.
The gunman, whom authorities have not identified, was shot and killed by police after he fired on emergency responders arriving at his crash. Firefighter Justin Angell, 20, was shot once near his hip and is recovering at the hospital.
Angell and several other responders were responding to a report of a crash at Bellmore and Claxton avenues at about 10 p.m. Tuesday. The gunman's pickup had slammed into a utility pole.
As the responders approached the crashed vehicle, gunfire erupted, officials said.
After Angell was hit, his fellow responders managed to pick him up and carry him to the ambulance, which they used as cover as the barrage of bullets continued.
"We never expected something like this. All hell broke loose," Bellmore Fire Chief Robert Taylor, who was at the scene of the gunfire, told NBC New York. "We were told it was a routine traffic accident."
"I have no idea why the guy opened fire," Taylor added. "My concern was just to get everybody out of there safely."
Investigators speculate turmoil in the gunman's personal life led to the incident. He is described as a married man in his 30s with a young child.
According to Suffolk County police, about two hours before the shooting, officers were called to a domestic dispute in Commack. The woman at the address was taken to a local precinct but refused to press charges against her husband.
Police say it appears the husband was the gunman.
The suspect is believed to have moved to Suffolk County from Florida within the last year. His vehicle had Florida plates.