Yadira Arroyo
New York City Fire Department
March 16, 2017 09:50 PM

A New York City fire department emergency official died after an alleged carjacker stole her ambulance and then ran her over on Thursday, PEOPLE confirms.

EMT Yadira Arroyo, a 44-year-old mother of five, was responding to a call in the Bronx in N.Y.C. when the suspect allegedly “seized control of her ambulance and struck her,” city fire department officials announced in a statement posted on Facebook.

Jose Gonzalez, 25, is charged with murder, grand larceny and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs in connection with the incident, a New York Police Department spokesperson tells PEOPLE.


Arroyo was driving the ambulance on Thursday when she and her partner were flagged down by a civilian, the spokesperson says. Both EMTs left the vehicle to help the civilian, and Gonzalez allegedly climbed into the driver’s side of the ambulance.

He allegedly put the ambulance in reverse, knocking Arroyo over, and drove over her before crashing into several parked cars, the spokesperson says.

He also allegedly struck two occupied vehicles, but no one else was injured.

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An off-duty transit officer managed to subdue the suspect, police tell PEOPLE. Arroyo’s partner suffered a minor injury and was in stable condition after the incident.

N.Y.C. Mayor Bill de Blasio later spoke of Arroyo, a 14-year veteran of the city’s fire department, at a news conference at Jacobi Medical Center, where she died.

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“We lost a good woman,” de Blasio said. He also wrote of the death in a tweet: “New Yorkers join together in mourning her loss.”

Officials noted that Arroyo is the eighth member of the FDNY EMS to die in the line of duty.

Gonzalez is expected to appear in court on Friday, ABC News reports. It is unclear whether he has entered a plea to his charges or has an attorney.

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