Omaha firefighters scoff at notion that suspect had no gun in ambulance - Omaha.com
Published Friday, July 12, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 9:52 am
Omaha firefighters scoff at notion that suspect had no gun in ambulance

The president of the Omaha firefighters union strongly disputed the claims of a woman accused of shooting a paramedic that the gun wasn't hers.

“She is lying,” said Steve LeClair, the union president.

Justine Dubois, 24, of Bellevue is accused of shooting the paramedic July 1 as she was being taken to a hospital.

During an interview Thursday at the Douglas County Jail — where she is being held on $750,000 bail — Dubois implied that paramedic Brock Borhart was the one who had a gun.

“Why would I shoot somebody who is trying to help me?” said Dubois.“I am the one who got shot. . . .I'm not the one who (expletive) shot him.”

LeClair scoffed at her remarks.

“We don't carry guns. Period. That's a job that is left to law enforcement, and we are not law enforcement,” he said. “If there was a gun in that squad, it didn't come from paramedics.''

Dubois has been charged with felony assault, making terroristic threats, use of a weapon to commit a felony and gun possession by a prohibited person.

In the interview, Dubois admitted to dealing drugs. She said she was high on marijuana and a little meth at the time of the shooting. She also said she stole a car that day because she was tired of walking.

Authorities suspect she faked a seizure after she was arrested in connection with the car theft just prior to the shooting.

An ambulance was called. Police and fire officials say Dubois, who was uncuffed before being placed in the ambulance, later pulled out a gun on her way to the hospital.

Lt. Darci Tierney, a police spokeswoman, said detectives have not been able to question Dubois, who was released from the hospital Sunday. As a result, officers have yet to iron out all the circumstances of the shooting.

Tierney declined to answer specific questions about the gun that was used, including the type of weapon. She said police are tracing its origin.

Borhart, a paramedic and firefighter, suffered a superficial gunshot wound to the abdomen. Fire and police officials have said Dubois was shot in the leg as Borhart tried to disarm her.

Police say they searched Dubois before putting her in the ambulance and didn't find a gun. Dubois said a female officer searched her thoroughly, and that she was in the process of being arrested once her symptoms began.

Dubois said the officer found “kind bud” — slang for marijuana — a pair of glasses and at least $300 in her bra. But no gun.

“How could I have a gun on me? They already had me in a squad car,” she said.

Dubois acknowledged that she started “mouthing off” to Borhart as the ambulance took off. She was angry, she said, and a little disoriented.

She said the two struggled. Once she spotted a gun, she said, she struggled to point the weapon away from her. She described it as a revolver.

Although she said the weapon didn't belong to her, she did not specifically accuse Borhart — the only other person in the back of the ambulance — of pulling out the gun.

She said some of the details surrounding the incident were hazy.

Borhart and his partner that day, fellow paramedic Julianne Moran, have since returned to duty.

Moran was driving the ambulance and radioed for help when she heard gunfire. She was not injured.

Dubois acknowledged she has lied about several things — including giving police her sister's name at first — but said she is telling the truth about what happened inside the ambulance.

“I was tired of being portrayed as a really bad person,” a teary Dubois said. “It didn't exactly go the way they said it did.”

Contact the writer: Maggie O'Brien

maggie.o'brien@owh.com    |   402-444-3100    |  

Maggie is a cops and breaking news reporter for Omaha.com.

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