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TUCSON, Ariz. – A veteran firefighter refused to respond to last month's deadly shooting spree that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wounded because he had different political views than his colleagues and "did not want to be part of it," according to internal city memos.
Mark Ekstrum's insubordination may have delayed his unit's response because firefighters had to stop at another station to pick up a replacement for him, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
While the crew was not among the first called to the supermarket where six people were killed and 13 others wounded, a memo from Ekstrum's supervisor said his actions caused "confusion and delay" during the emergency.
Ekstrum's team, which is specially trained to handle large medical emergencies, was dispatched to assist 90 minutes after the Jan. 8 shooting.
Capt. Ben Williams wrote in a report that when Ekstrum first said he would not go on the call, "he mentioned something about `political bantering' and he did not want to be part of it."