Flying Rock Prompts Shooting Scare in Murrieta

When a fire official was seriously injured Wednesday, officials first thought he may have been shot, but later discovered it was something else that injured him.

A Murrieta fire official is suffering from "serious facial trauma" after he was injured by a flying rock in a brush clearance operation near the Bear Creek area of town. 
Murrieta Fire Captain Matt Corelli says the accident was reported around 8:52 a.m. Wednesday when "...a fire department employee... radioed for help after being struck by an unknown projectile in an open area." 
At first, emergency responders feared there may have been a shooter in the area due to the severity of the man's injuries.
"Initially, it was unknown what the projectile was and consideration was given to the fact that a shooter may be present in the hills," Corelli said in a news release.  "This was based on the severity of the injury and preliminary witness statements at the scene." 
A sheriff's helicopter and Murrieta police armored vehicle were brought to the scene to search and clear the area, according to the captain. 

"After the area was rendered safe, a preliminary investigation revealed the projectile that struck the fire department employee was likely a rock thrown from brush clearing equipment operating in the area," he said.  
Corelli described the equipment as a large tractor with a mower attachment on it, which was being operated by Bear Creek maintenance personnel.  

He said fire crews were on scene to help prevent any brush fires from being sparked by the operation. 
The unidentified fire official was taken to Inland Valley Hospital's Trauma Center.

"The Murrieta Fire Department is in the process of notifying family members of the employee and supporting the employee through their immediate care and hospitalization," Corelli said.  "The employee sustained serious injuries but is stable. Police department personnel, working with OSHA personnel, are investigating the incident as an industrial accident."

SA July 02, 2014 at 07:57 PM
As I was driving out, I noticing the commotion and thought “helo, police / emergency personnel … a bit over zealous” … So yes moron but since I am ignorant I will scratch my “moron” comment and replace with “I hope the brave fella is ok”. My point is, people are so afraid of every noise, bump, rattle etc. that IQ levels drop.
AmericanMom July 02, 2014 at 08:34 PM
The response was very much proper if there was a believed random shooter. We live above the area and it is a very wide area that... who knows this could feasibly occur. I am glad the person was not shot, and my wishes for a speedy recovery for his health. What is most troublesome to me is that they did not alert us to a possible shooter. I was allowed to drive up the hill myself with just the information that "an active crime situation" was happening. That could have been a domestic issue, a robbery investigation, etc. Never in a million years would I think they would allow us to go up the hill which oversees the area. Thankfully, there was no public safety issue. HOWEVER, I will state... I am thankful to our police that they responded quickly and as if a small war was taking place in that area. I am GLAD that they took the approach of "this isn't happening in our town, let's take this on." It is nice to know that if something awful were to happen, our police force is up to the task. Again, my best wishes and thoughts to the individual who suffered such a freak accident and prayers for a speedy recovery.
Richard Long July 03, 2014 at 08:29 AM
This is just sad, first thought through your head is you have been shot?? Didn't know we just have random shootings like this all the time, what are the police not telling us if this is how they react? Does this happen all the time and his reaction justified or was it just fear mongering?
Dirk Diggler July 04, 2014 at 01:24 PM
It was the head Cheese , Chief Sherbeet. Is he ok? That sucks, thinking u were shot ! Looking down and thinking a bullet went through your torso or whatever? Couldn't imagine. Godspeed chieeef.
Donna July 04, 2014 at 10:28 PM
He is such a GREAT guy.. His family are in my thoughts. It was a sad day as he was just helping someone clear a lot.. That's who he is..


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