‘Stay on God’s side,’ firefighter back at work after being shot outside station


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Kinloch Fire Protection District Chief Kevin Stewart got a call early Thursday morning that one of his volunteer firefighters was shot about 150 feet away from the station.

He said he immediately got in his car and started praying as he drove to the fire station.

“I was like Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus, not again,” Chief Stewart said.

Jared Williams, 24, has been a volunteer with the Kinloch Fire Protection District for two years. He also works a late shift at Express Scripts, is getting his EMT certification, and going through the academy.

On Thursday, Williams had gotten off of work at Express Scripts around 2 a.m. He said he doesn’t have a car right now, and the first public transportation back home leaves at 4:30 a.m.

In the meantime, Williams said he waits at the fire station between getting off work at Express Scripts and catching the METRO.

On Thursday morning, he left the fire station around 3:40 a.m., when he walked about 150 feet and was shot at. 

Williams said two cars drove by and fired about five shots at him. One of them hit him in the right arm.

“People just decided to shoot at me, it hit me in the arm,” he said.

He walked back to the fire station and his fellow firefighters jumped into action.

“As soon as I got back, they covered up the blood, covered it all up, took care of me professionally as this department always does, then the ambulance came,” he said.

“I’m just really happy that I’m okay, nobody else is hurt and I’m still here.”

He doesn’t know who shot at him. St. Louis County Police Department is investigating. 

“I feel like God puts you in certain situations for things to happen to wake other people up,” he said.

The department has been through a lot recently. Last June, Kinlock firefighter Arlydia Bufford was shot in the head inside a St. Louis County Applebee’s.

She was able to leave the hospital in August, two months after she was shot, and has been recovering since. Chief Stewart said the community immediately rallied around her. 

Brett’s First Responders was one of the organizations that helped Bufford financially. Now, they’ve already called Stewart to see how they can help Williams with expenses. 

Brett’s First Responders helps support financial hardships “due to a tragic circumstance of an off-duty first responder,” and “families of fallen off-duty first responders.”

The organization was created after Swansea Firefighter Brett Korves was killed on April 4, 2019, in a car crash on his way to work. 

On Friday, the organization is presenting Bufford with another check to help with expenses and also presenting Williams with a check.
“By God’s grace we seem to make it,” Chief Stewart said.

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