Residents in a quiet Germantown, Maryland, neighborhood rescued a gunshot victim from a burning car Tuesday night.
Residents at normally quiet Apperson Way and Apperson Place heard what sounded like a gunshot before 11 p.m. then saw a car had crashed and burst into flames with the driver still inside.
“A pow, which sounded like a gunshot, but, you know, close to the Fourth of July, you never know out here,” Derek Morgan said.
Then they heard other sounds that weren’t mistakable for fireworks.
“We heard a car accelerate and a crash,” Morgan said.
The area is adjacent to Route 355, and residents thought something had happened there.
“To my surprise, it was right here in the parking lot,” Morgan said.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
With a man screaming for help from inside the burning car, apprehension about approaching what was shaping up to be a crime scene went away.
“It was like, Hey, look, do or die,” Morgan said. “Let’s just act on this.”
The fire spread to other parked cars, as neighbors moved the victim as far out of harm’s way as they could.
The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries, Montgomery County police said.
Residents said they didn’t recognize the car or the victim. Police have not released an identity. No suspects are in custody.
“It’s just one of those random things we just needed to help the guy out, and then they called 911,” neighbor Perry Palmer said. “It’s sad that it happened in the neighborhood.”
“Everyone’s on high alert with situations such as this, especially close to home,” Morgan said. “You just never know.”
Get updates on what's happening in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia to your inbox. Sign up for our News Headlines newsletter.