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Firefighter shot in the back by yob.

A GUN-TOTING yob shot a firefighter in the back while he was going about his daily duties.

Firefighters across the North-east have been put on alert after Cleveland Fire Brigade arson reduction officer Gary Mason, 45, from Hartlepool, was hit with a pellet from a 22 calibre air gun.

Mr Mason, a former TA soldier who recently served in Baghdad for six months, was inspecting a house in Miers Avenue, Hartlepool, at 11am on March 12, when he came under attack.

Head of community safety and education at Cleveland Fire Brigade, Les Jones, said: "We were absolutely outraged when we heard what had happened. Hopefully it's a one off. I certainly don't think it's the norm.

It's just one person that has been a bit stupid.

"We've been working closely with the police to try and catch this perpetrator, but I would urge that person to stop what they are doing and think about the impact it's having on other people's lives."

Throughout 2007, there were 103 reported attacks against fire crews on Teesside, which accounts for more than one third of the 297 attacks across the North-east.

Cleveland Police have confirmed that they are investigating the attack and have appealed for anyone with information to contact PC Nigel Home on 01642 302126.

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AIRGUN ATTACK: On Gary Mason, a Cleveland Fire Brigade arson reduction officer
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 26, 2008
Words:227
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