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CAL FIRE SLO Crew shares experience taking fire from active shooter in Nipomo

Posted at 1:04 AM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 06:31:56-04

Sheriff Ian Parkinson identified the gunman from Friday's active shooter situation as 42-year-old Scott Huffman of Bakersfield.

Parkinson said Huffman fired more than 20 rounds from a handgun both inside and outside the Vons gas station at the corner of Tefft Street and Mary avenue.

A CAL FIRE crew was on their way to a medical call when Huffman opened fire on their engine.

"As we were hearing the loud explosions and looking around, my captain yells: "He's shooting us, he's shooting us!" I glance right and I could see the shooter out of my window firing at us," said CAL FIRE SLO Engineer, Casey Jenkins.

A door to their engine was hit several times and one bullet hit the window, narrowly missing Captain Felix Camacho in the passenger seat.

"We respond to that type of medical emergency call every single day; it's so routine for us that when [the shooting happened], it was definitely a surreal moment for both of us," said Captain Felix Camacho of CAL FIRE SLO.

Jenkins says he had to use evasive maneuvers to continue making their way through traffic.

"That's kinda the moment where time slowed down. I did a sharp left turn and we were going towards opposing traffic at that point. Everyone did a great job of stopping in place or getting out of my way and when we made our escape and my captain radioed in we were getting shot at by an active shooter," Jenkins explained.

The crew was allowed to go home after doing interviews with police and they say they received care for their mental health the following day.

While they were able to take as much time at home as they wanted, the crew is already back at work.

"I think all of us do this job because we love it; it's a job we want to do and be involved in. The best therapy sometimes for a situation like that is to get right back into what you love doing," Camacho said.

The crew says they've run several calls back in the same area since their engine was hit on Friday. They say they would rather return to their normal routine than second-guessing what could happen in the future.

Huffman was eventually shot and killed by law enforcement.

Parkinson said early indications show Huffman was having a mental health crisis.