Lake Havasu firefighter shot while shielding wife in Las Vegas

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Kurt Fowler and his wife (Source: Erickson via GoFundMe) Kurt Fowler and his wife (Source: Erickson via GoFundMe)
LAKE HAVASU CITY (3TV/CBS 5) -

An off-duty firefighter from Lake Havasu was shot and seriously wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas while shielding his wife from gunfire, according to two firefighters in his unit.

Kurt Fowler, a firefighter/EMT in the Desert Hills Fire District, is currently in a Las Vegas hospital surrounded by his wife, children and fellow firefighters.

“I along with everyone else at the Department are in shock, as you can imagine,” said fire Capt. Ryan Erickson in a social media message.

[CONTINUING COVERAGE: Las Vegas mass shooting]

[FAST FACTS: What we know]

Fowler was hit in the lower right leg while trying to protect his wife, Erickson and Desert Hills fire captain and union president Steve Bunn said.

"They heard the gunfire, him and his wife. Kurt took his wife to the ground and was shielding her and then was struck in the leg," Bunn said by phone.

Fowler had surgery on his right leg Monday afternoon. Doctors believe the procedure went well, Bunn said in a late-evening update.

Erickson described Fowler as “a good guy” and “a family man” who has three kids.

“We are all shocked and saddened from the news,” he said.

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"Kurt is a very devoted family man. Good father, good husband," Bunn said. "Everything he does is oriented around his wife and kids. Good firefighter. He's well-liked here. He's one of our brothers, and we're doing the best we can to support him and his family."

Fire Chief Pat A. Dennen and several firefighters drove to Las Vegas to be at the hospital with Fowler, Bunn said. One of the firefighters brought Fowler's children and others made the trip in hopes of donating blood, he said.

Members of the union that represents Desert Hills firefighters have launched an online fundraising campaign to help cover Fowler’s medical expenses, rehab and other costs.

[GET INVOLVED: How you can help]

[RELATED: Arizona reaction to mass shooting in Las Vegas]


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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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