Evansville Fire remembers Robbie Doerr

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It has been a tough week for the Evansville Fire Department. Monday, they laid one of their own to rest after Captain Jim Pauli died suddenly during a medical emergency.

Now police need your help to find out who shot and killed 51 year-old firefighter Robert Doerr outside his home.

He was shot several times and found on Oakley Street around 7 p.m. Tuesday. EPD isn’t releasing details on a suspect.

Doerr was a 27-year veteran of the Evansville Fire Department.

“To see an Evansville firefighter gunned down in front of his own home is something we weren’t really prepared for,” said EPD Sgt. Jason Cullum.

“The firefighters that had to respond to that scene and work on their brother, the police officers that arrived and quickly realized it was a firefighter, is just something we don’t see very often.”

While the investigation on Oakley continues, closer to downtown at Fire Station No. 1, firefighters mourn the loss of yet another brother.

Longtime firefighter, and Doerr’s best friend, Larry Wildt said his buddy always had his back. “Never afraid to go into a fire with him,” he said.

Doerr was invincible in Engine One. He spent most of his career behind the wheel of a fire truck.

“He was in it,” said District Chief Mike Larson. “He loved the fire department; just getting out there and helping people.”

For nearly three decades, the beloved firefighter worked for everyone but himself. Today is the first day in all those years they’ve worked without him.

“This is a bad nightmare,” Wildt said. Not knowing what happened is the hardest part.

“Robbie is the type of guy, he’ll give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Robbie did everything in the world he could to please everybody.”

Wildt and Doerr had been friends since 1985 when he graduated from Reitz High School. Willdt calls Doerr a brother he never had.

EFD will never forget their fallen brother and with Robbie upstairs, their passion to serve burns even stronger.

“He had a heart of gold,” Wildt said. “Everybody loved him.”

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This story was originally published on February 27, 2019

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