FF Killed Trying to Catch Foul Ball
Arlington police officers arrive in the stands after Shannon Stone fell over a railing and to his death. [AP]
July 08, 2011
BROWNWOOD, TX – Members of the Brownwood Fire Department in Texas are mourning the death of their co-worker who fell over a railing at a Rangers game Thursday night and died.
Shannon Stone, 39, tumbled when he tried to catch a ball thrown by outfielder Josh Hamilton, instead landing on concrete 20 feet below. He was taken by ambulance to a Fort Worth hospital and pronounced dead.
“You worry about him getting hurt fighting a fire, and I always worry about that with my guys, but this is something you don’t expect,” Brownwood fire chief Del Albright told ESPN.com.
Albright said he learned of Stone’s death when he received a call Thursday from a person in the Arlington Fire Department wanting to confirm Stone worked in Brownwood, which is about 150 miles southwest of Arlington.
Stone’s 6-year-old son witnessed the accident. Albright said he and the rest of the family returned to Brownwood Friday morning.
“(Stone) was so dedicated to his son and family and a dedicated firefighter,” Albright said. “Whenever he was off duty, he was with his son. We had officer meetings and I would ask him to come in on his day off to attend those and nine out of 10 times he had his son with him. He was dependable. I left him in charge of many fires I went to because I knew he could handle it.”
According to ESPN.com, Stone was a lieutenant and in charge of Station 2 and ran one of the engine companies, which included three other firefighters.
“I guess probably the most important thing to remember about him is he had a heart of gold,” said Captain Robert Myers. “He had a rough exterior, but he’d do anything for anybody and he loved the fire service and the guys he worked with and his family. He had that little boy with him 24-7 when he was around.”