Firefighter’s Facebook post about drowning victim sparks probe

FireRescue1 Staff

HOUSTON — The Houston Fire Department launched an investigation into offensive comments a firefighter allegedly posting on his personal Facebook page while searching for a drowning victim.

ABC13 reported that the post on firefighter Kerry Williams’ page called the victim, Victor Gonzalez, a "drunk Mexican." When the search was over, the post read: "We are done with our search no body recover (sic) and no 'drunk Mexican.'"

"How dare you sit there and talk about my father like that?" his daughter Gracie Gonzalez said. "There's no words to describe the hurt I feel because you made the situation worse."

Firefighter William said he put the comment in quotes, because it was the victim’s friend who referred to Gonzalez that way, according to the report. The friend who called 9-1-1, Thomas Watson, disputes that.

"I did not tell anyone and wouldn't have told anyone he was a drunk Mexican. He was a good friend of mine," Thomas Watson said.

Late Monday, the Houston Fire Department issued the following statement:

"It would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation, except to say that we take violations of this nature very seriously. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim. Comments like these are not a reflection of the nearly 4,000 men and women of the HFD who perform their jobs everyday with courage and compassion."

All the comments have now been deleted from the Facebook post.

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