1 dead, 2 paramedics injured in Pine Bluff shooting

The Pine Bluff Police Department is investigating a shooting that left one dead and two injured.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — According to Pine Bluff police reports, on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 4:30 a.m. officers responded to a call of two paramedics being shot on West 23rd Ave. 

Once officers were on scene, they found one paramedic sitting in the back of the ambulance bleeding, while the another was laying on the ground beside the ambulance saying they both had been shot. 

One paramedic said a shirtless male with a blanket wrapped around him had beaten his girlfriend. 

While tending to the female victim in the back of the ambulance, the suspect, 22-year-old Kevin Curl Jr., walked up to them aggressively. 

“While they were treating their patient, the suspect approached the medics, is my type of understanding, and there was some type of altercation that continued to de-escalate until eventually shots were fired,” Sgt. Richard Wegner, with Pine Bluff Police Department said.

The paramedic said when he told Curl to back up, he walked up to him and pushed him and asked him what he was going to do about it. When Curl pushed him, the paramedic said he defended himself and punched Curl. 

Curl then pulled out a gun and shot him and the other paramedic approximately three times each in the chest, pelvic and abdomen areas. 

“There’s no reason, there’s no lawful reason to attack a paramedic or a medic doing their job,” Wegner said.

One paramedic said when Curl started shooting them, he returned fire and shot Curl. 

Police say Curl was found laying in the kitchen floor West 23rd Ave. residence.

The suspect’s father said he was in the back of the house in his bedroom when Curl Jr. ran into the house screaming “dad.” He said Curl Jr. crawled inside the house and laid on the kitchen floor stating he had been shot. Curl died from his injuries prior to officers arrival.

Josh Bishop, CEO of Emergency Ambulance Service, said his two employees, Joshua Godfrey and John Spriggs Sr., were transported to the hospital for their injuries. 

Both medics were sent to surgery and their conditions were stable on Thursday.

“It’s a very tough day. A day nobody can plan for, definitely one no one expects to ever have to deal with,” Bishop said. 

Bishop said this heart-breaking day doesn’t shake their dedication to the community.

“We’re not going to let this incident deter us from giving the best healthcare we can to all the residents of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County,” he said.

But for those familiar with Curl, the action’s don’t describe the man they knew.

Annette Dove met him six years ago when he joined her mentoring program.

“Always, yes ma’am or no ma’am. Would help out whenever I asked him to,” she said.

Dove hopes Curl’s legacy isn’t defined with his last moments on earth.

“I would like for him to be remembered as a young man that struggled, but wanted to be something in his life,” she said.

According to Bishop. it’s too early on to say for sure, but there is a chance they may adjust some protocols for the future. 

When asked if the paramedics were allowed to be armed, Bishop said he can’t go into specifics regarding internal policies.

It is still early in the investigation and more information will be released once it is available.