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Ala. FF dies days after being shot inside fire station

Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Firefighter Jordan Melton was one of two FFs shot five days ago


Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Department/Facebook

By Carol Robinson

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — One of two Birmingham firefighters shot last week at a fire station in the city’s Norwood community has died.

Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service Firefighter Jordan Melton was pronounced dead Monday evening. He was 28 and had only been a firefighter for several weeks.

“Birmingham Fire and Rescue mourns the loss of Firefighter Jordan Melton, who passed away this evening, ‘’ Capt. Orlando Reynolds announced at 7:17 p.m.

Firefighter Jamal Jones also was shot, and is recovering.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin released this statement:

“My heart is hurting today.

It devastates me to share that we’ve lost our own firefighter Jordan Melton. But before I talk about Jordan the public servant, I want to celebrate Jordan the man.

Jordan was a vibrant young brother who was full of life. He loved to talk sports as much as he loved good barbecue. He had a brilliant mind for business, but he was always down to lighten the mood with a joke or two. He was also a wonderful son to his mother, who has been his rock in these difficult past few days.

Though Jordan had served at Birmingham Fire and Rescue for more than a year, he had just graduated from the recruit academy one month ago.

When I look at his photo, you can see the potential and pride in his eyes. So much of that potential will now go unrealized.

Jordan had developed close ties with his fellow firefighters, which makes this loss all the more tragic. Birmingham Fire is so much more than a collection of employees, they are a family in every sense of the word. And right now, that family is in a lot of pain.

I ask that you join me in wrapping our arms around Jordan’s family today. They’ve lost a son, a brother, a friend and colleague. Know that we’re exhausting every resource to find answers and justice for Jordan’s loved ones.

Jordan paid the ultimate price for his service to our city, we will not let that sacrifice be in vain. We are his family, and his memory will be honored.”

Birmingham police and Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service were called about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, to Station 9 at 1228 27th St. North, where the firefighters had reportedly been shot in the chest and legs.

At least one caller reported hearing shots and ran to take cover in the bathroom.

Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmond said the shooter entered the fire station through the open bay door, which typically remains open to be accessible to residents who need their blood pressure checked or other help or information.

The shooting happened shortly after they started their shift.

The early indication is that this was a targeted attack, Thurmond said.

“We don’t know why it would be a targeted attack, that’s one of the things we’re trying to determine,’’ Thurmond said. “It’s extremely unusual for someone to come target one of our fire stations and so we’re trying to see why would someone want to target one of these fire stations in Birmingham.”

“I find it extremely troubling that they would be targeted,’’ the chief said. “I hate to say it but unfortunately, I think police would be the bigger targets. Our firefighters are there to protect and aid and rescue our citizens and to seem them critically injured is troubling, disheartening.”

The chief said at least one other firefighter was inside the station when the shooting happened. That firefighter was not injured.

Asked if it could be personal in nature versus a random attack on the profession itself, Thurmond said, “That’s one of the issues we’re looking at when we say, ‘Is there a connection? What is that connection if there is one?’ We just don’t know at this point in time.”

“Is it professional? Is it personal? Is it none of the above?’’ Thurmond said. “We just don’t know.”

No arrests have been made. A $15,000 reward is being offered for information leading to a suspect or suspects in his death.

Anyone with information is asked to call Birmingham homicide detectives at 205-25-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.

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