An ambulance happened upon a West Side shootout early Saturday morning that left two men in critical condition.
The ambulance was eastbound about 12:15 a.m. in the 3500 block of West Lake Street in the East Garfield Park neighborhood -- not responding to a call -- when the paramedics saw men ducking behind cars and firing guns, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said from outside John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County overnight.
Paramedics called a "10-1" over the radio, a term used to signal that a police officer, paramedic or firefighter is in distress and in immediate need of help.
- Video: Chicago crime overnight report: 13 shot, ambulance drives into shootout
- Ambulance drives into West Side shootout
- More East Garfield Park crime »
- Hospitals and Clinics (INACTIVE)
- John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County
See more topics »
- 3500 West Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60624, USA
"There were definitely bullets flying," Langford said.
Other responding firefighters and ambulances were told to hang back until the shooting stopped, Langford said.
"We have to hold until police get there, it's not safe," Langford said. "They called for help and police responded."
Two men were shot -- one in the head, the other in the chest -- and both taken to Stroger hospital. The ambulance that rolled into the scene was one of two that ended up transporting the men shot.
No fire department personnel were injured and it didn't appear that anyone was firing toward the ambulances, and the ambulances weren't damaged during the shooting.
Police taped off much of Lake Street west of Homan Avenue toward St. Louis Avenue, including the vacant lots on the north side of Lake Street. Green Line trains rumbled overhead as investigators searched the desolate block for evidence.
People scattered after the shooting and nobody lingered at the crime scene. A small crowd could be heard about a block west outside a small bar, partying next to a car.