TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A veteran firefighter refused to respond to last month's deadly shooting spree that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wounded because he had different political views than his colleagues and "did not want to be part of it," according to internal city memos.
Mark Ekstrum's insubordination may have delayed his unit's response because firefighters had to stop at another station to pick up a replacement for him, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
Capt. Ben Williams wrote in a report that when Ekstrum first said he would not go on the call, "he mentioned something about 'political bantering' and he did not want to be part of it."
Williams said in the report that he told the 56-year-old firefighter that he could not refuse a call for that reason and then talked to the firefighter privately in his office. He said Ekstrum "started to say something about how he had a much different political viewpoint than the rest of the crew and he was concerned."
Despite being told that was not acceptable, Williams said Ekstrum informed him he was going home "sick," so they answered the call without him.