Katy firefighter dies while on duty

KATY, TX (KTRK) -- City of Katy firefighters are wearing black bands around their badges as they mourn the loss of one of their own.

The name of the firefighter who died Sunday has not been released, and few people are talking openly about what may have led up to his death.

What is known is that the firefighter, a 30-year-old man and 2-year veteran of the department, took his own life in the dorm area of the firehouse around 3:45pm Sunday. Police say he died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Prior to joining the fire service, the young man served as a U.S. Marine.

At a press conference on Monday, the fire chief said that the young man was alone at the time of the shooting. Upon hearing the gunshot, the fire chief says fellow firefighters and paramedics who were in-house rushed to the young man's aid and administered emergency care.

The firefighter was flown via Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Medical Center. Doctors pronounced him dead a short time later.

"It is very devastating to the department. He was well-respected well-liked. The department is just in shambles right now," Fire Chief Rufus Summers told reporters.

A spokesperson for the city says that a critical incident stress management team has been made available to firefighters, and they 911 service has not been interrupted.

The firefighter's family was notified of his death by a chaplain last night, a spokesperson said.
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