EMT released from hospital after being shot in ambulance by drunk patient on Staten Island

WEST BRIGHTON, Staten Island (WABC) -- An on-duty EMT was released from the hospital after being shot in his shoulder while treating an allegedly drunk and disorderly patient inside his ambulance on Staten Island Wednesday night.

First responders picked up the apparently intoxicated patient outside of the Funky Monkey Bar in the West Brighton neighborhood of Staten Island just before 8 p.m. after reports of a disorderly person at the bar.

Police say the 37-year-old suspect, identified as Thomas McCauley, was outside of the bar when the EMTs arrived and walked himself into the back of the ambulance.

They say he was answering questions on the way to Richmond University Medical Center, and as EMT Rich McMahon was administering aid, police say McCauley suddenly fired a handgun, striking the 25-year-old paramedic in the shoulder.

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When the driver of the ambulance pulled over, they say McCauley fled out the back door.

He was quickly apprehended by a retired NYPD detective and off-duty Department of Sanitation lieutenant.

McCauley was charged Thursday with assault on an EMT and criminal possession of a weapon.

McMahon was transported by his partner to Richmond University Medical Center, where he was treated and released Thursday to applause and cheers.

McMahon's family has been told the bullet narrowly missed his heart, and not coincidentally, his mother posted on Facebook that he "has the biggest heart."

He is expected to make a full recovery.

A 38-caliber revolver held together by black electrical tape was recovered at the scene.

Detectives are trying to figure out how McCauley got this gun.

Police say that in addition to the gun, the suspect also had a knife and pepper spray on him.

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Officials say he had been the subject of a previous call to police about an emotionally disturbed person.

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