2 EMS workers 'came within inches of dying' after box cutter attack in Detroit

Both EMTs in serious condition, expected to fully recover

DETROIT – Two Detroit EMS workers were seriously injured Tuesday when they were attacked by a man with a box cutter near the Neighborhood Service Organization in the 3400 block of 3rd Street.

A woman near the NSO building reported a sprained ankle and the two EMS workers worked on her across the street. When the crew determined that the woman wouldn't be transported in the rig, a man she was with became enraged and pulled out a weapon.

While the attacker stabbed and slashed EMT Alfredo Rojas, 25, EMT Kelly Adams, 49, came to his aid. The attacker then stabbed and slashed Adams, according to Interim Executive Fire Commissioner Eric Jones.

UPDATE: Police have identified the attacker. They are actively looking for him. No other details are available at this time.

Kelly Adams and Alfredo Rojas

-- Adams and Rojas

Commissioner: EMTs 'within inches of dying'

Rojas and Adams drove themselves to the hospital. Jones said they came "within inches of dying" due to their injuries.

"(They drove) to save their lives," Jones said. "They decided that they needed to get to the hospital right away. The medics drove themselves and I'm glad they did. I'm glad they're here."

He said both workers will require surgery after suffering deep stab and slash wounds to the face and hands. They are currently in treatment together and are able to communicate. Hospital officials said both EMTs are expected to make a full recovery.

Adams is in good condition while Rojas remains in serious condition.


"Some very, very deep lacerations," Jones said of the injuries.

Adams has been with EMS for 13 years and Rojas has been there for two years.

Jones said he's determined to give officials the training and equipment they need to protect themselves in the field. He said he will speak with Police Chief James Craig about de-escalation and defensive tactics training.

"It was a horrific scene," Jones said. "The EMS rig, the scene inside of the rig is horrific, their injuries are horrific. They're upset, they're concerned about the safety of how they do their job and their colleagues."

Attacker remains at large; police have identified him

Authorities say the suspect fled the scene westbound on Peterboro Street. There is no other suspect information at this time, according to Jones. The incident happened at around 12:30 a.m. and the attack was not caught on surveillance video because it happened across the street where the cameras don't cover.

UPDATE: Police have identified the attacker. They are actively looking for him.

Stay tuned to ClickOnDetroit.com for updates.


More: Brutal attack raises concern over EMS safety

-- Alfredo Rojas