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Vigil held for EMT who is still in critical condition after fire turned shooting spree

Vigil for Jacob
Posted at 10:11 PM, Jul 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 01:37:12-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Dozens gathered outside of Banner University Medical Center Sunday night in hopes their prayers are answered as EMT Jacob Dindinger is still fighting for his life. Dindinger was shot while working last Sunday.

“We’re having this vigil today because we’re hoping and praying that we get the miracle we desperately need for Jacob to wake up and reach his goal one day," said Cindy Dindinger-Mendoza, Jacob's aunt.

His aunt told KGUN 9 the 20-year old has not woken up yet.

“Fight baby, fight. We all love you so much and your community loves you so much,” she said. "We are hoping for that miracle."

Dindinger-Mendoza was noticeably emotional watching the procession of first responders drive by to honor her
nephew. She said Jacob's goal was to be a firefighter like this big brother.

“So having so many people come out is heartwarming and quite frankly it’s what we needed,” she said.

Irma Gonzales, a stranger to the family, organized the event because she was in their shoes two years ago.

“At that age, my son was an EMT also and two years ago he was at this hospital fighting for his life and how the prayers from people on his behalf made me feel so comforted," she said.

As the songs played at the vigil, first responders who were also in the middle of the gunfire reflected on the outpouring of support first responders have received.

“Being on this type of call is something hard to imagine but I have to tell you seeing this kind of support is absolutely wonderful," said Captain Jeremy Karnap, Tucson Fire Department.

Kaplan was one of the first crews to arrive at the scene of the house fire that started the heinous crime spree. He said first responders are still healing, just like Jacob's family.

His aunt said she knows Jacob would be thrilled to know people are rooting for him.

“We wake up with beautiful messages from all over the country and frankly all over the world,” said Dindinger-Mendoza."Just keep praying everyone. We need those prayers desperately.”