Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Jason Beller, motorist who shot Long Island paramedic, carried aresenal and was 'prepped for war'
A crazed motorist shot and killed by Long Island cops was "prepped for war" when he opened fire on a volunteer paramedic, police said Wednesday.
Jason Beller, 31, was armed to the teeth and went down firing after crashing his souped-up Ford pickup in Bellmore, L.I., about 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Justin Angell, a 20-year-old paramedic with the Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department, responded to the scene of the wreck. Expecting to treat the injured driver, Angell walked into an ambush.
"This guy was prepped for war," Nassau County Police Det. Lt. Kevin Smith said of the would-be Rambo. "He wanted to go to war with somebody. He was angry about something."
Angell walked toward the pickup on Bellmore Ave. and Beller suddenly started firing from a Chinese-made semi-automatic rifle with a laser scope.
"It was crazy, gunshots going off everywhere," said Bellmore Volunteer Fire Department Chief Robert Taylor. "It was insane."
Angell, who was recovering at Nassau University Medical Center, was hit once in the hip.
"It is clear to us this man was out to commit mayhem somewhere in this county," Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey said.
In an odd twist, Angell's brother, Dean, was part of the same ambulance crew responding to the suburban block turned into a combat zone. At some point, one of the paramedics in that crew positioned the ambulance between Justin Angell and the shooter - shielding their colleague from further injury.
Three officers arrived at the scene, as paramedics pulled Angell to safety. The cops were locked in a brief shootout with Beller.
The first two officers were on the driver's side of the pickup, as a K-9 unit cop crept up on the other side and blew Beller away.
When police got a closer look at the suspect and his vehicle, they found him dead behind the wheel. He had a hunting rifle strapped to his body, a Luger 9-mm. pistol under his seat, a Dirty Harry-style .357 magnum - and enough ammunition to arm several soldiers.
In all, he had six weapons, including rifles and semi-automatic handguns. All of the weapons were loaded.
Hours before the gunplay, Beller argued with a woman and stormed out of his Commack, L.I., home, authorities said. Described by neighbors as a weird, unfriendly loner, he recently moved to Long Island from Florida.
Investigators have no evidence Beller plotted a killing spree, police said.