Police say shooting at care facility unrelated to rape case
PHOENIX (AP) — The shooting of an armed man outside an Arizona long-term care facility does not appear to be connected to the rape of an incapacitated woman who later gave birth there, authorities said Monday.
Phoenix police said the 58-year-old suspect, who was shot by an off-duty officer working security at Hacienda HealthCare, was targeting a woman in the facility’s parking lot. Investigators say neither the shooter nor the woman was a resident there.
The suspect, who has not been identified, was listed in critical condition at a hospital, but police say he’s expected to survive. The woman suffered minor injuries.
The shooting unfolded around 5:30 a.m., when three off-duty officers patrolling the facility heard screams, Sgt. Armando Carbajal said. When they went to investigate, the officers saw a 56-year-old woman lying on the ground as a man wielding a handgun stood over her.
A confrontation ensued, and the suspect tried to flee. Carbajal said even while fleeing, the man fired multiple shots in the woman’s direction.
One of the officers fired his handgun and struck the suspect, Carbajal said.
The Florence Police Department, where the officer works, placed him on paid administrative leave pending the results of a Phoenix police investigation.
Hacienda officials said in a statement the gunman was the ex-husband of a worker. Police have not confirmed the victim and the suspect’s relationship, Carbajal said.
The health care provider also said its residents were never in any danger.
“Our security worked as intended and it continues to be improved on a daily basis,” Hacienda said in a statement.
Hacienda attracted widespread attention after a longtime patient was sexually assaulted and subsequently gave birth to a boy in December. Nathan Sutherland, a male nurse, was arrested after investigators found his DNA matched a sample taken from the infant. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault and vulnerable adult abuse.
Since the revelations, Hacienda has seen the departure of its CEO, senior management and several board members. Last week, the provider came under the regulatory control of the state. The agreement calls for numerous conditions including hiring of a third-party manager to oversee daily operations.
The scandal has also inspired legislation requiring intermediate care facilities that serve intellectually disabled or medical fragile residents in Arizona to obtain state licensing.