Gunman kills himself, 1 other at Reno hospital
RENO, Nevada (AP) — A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno, Nevada, hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, critically wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.
The wounded victims were in surgery and one of them is a doctor, the Nevada Department of Public Safety said.
The gunman killed himself after the shooting, which Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said doesn’t appear to be random. Investigators said they were confident no one else was involved.
“I wouldn’t say they were targeted, but I don’t think it was just a random (incident where the shooter decided) ‘I’m going to go up there and start shooting,’” Robinson told reporters outside the medical building on the campus of the Renown Regional Medical Center. He appealed to the public to contact detectives if they saw anything suspicious outside the hospital before the shooting.
“We want to get the information so we can kind of put the pieces of this puzzle together and kind of figure out what happened,” he said Tuesday night. He said police hoped to release additional information at a briefing Wednesday morning.
One local resident said he was at the center for an appointment with his 3-year-old child when they encountered the man entering the building with a gun, possibly a shotgun.
“He wasn’t agitated or anything. He was just normal,” Vita Ozoude told KRNV-TV. But he said the gunman did say something to the effect of, “You better get out of here.”
Police didn’t release any names of the wounded or dead.
“As far as the suspect goes, we still don’t have a solid identity yet but we are working several leads on who he is,” Robinson said.
Robinson said he didn’t know how many shots were fired or what type of weapon was used.
“I don’t even know if there were multiple weapons at this time,” he said.
All three victims and the gunman suffered some kind of gunshot wound and were in the same general area on the building’s third floor, Robinson said.
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Gail Powell said the wounded doctor is a woman but she had no other information about the shooting at the Center for Advanced Medicine, a modern structure connected by a second-floor walkway to the main hospital and a parking structure.
Robinson said there were about 100 people in the building when the shooting was reported at 2:05 p.m. Officers entered three to five minutes later and did “a systematic search, floor to floor, room to room,” Robinson said.
“On the third floor of the building they located two people down and located two people injured and evacuated the injured parties,” he said.
Renown Regional Medical Center was put on lockdown as law enforcement rushed to the scene and victims were treated by doctors on the hospital campus. More than three dozen police cars, including SWAT team vehicles, surrounded the sprawling medical complex and closed off a three-block area near downtown Reno.
State Sen. Debbie Smith said she was at Renown for an appointment and was trying to leave a nearby building when the shooting occurred.
“I encountered some SWAT team guys, they said nobody was leaving,” she said. “A police officer was at the door and said I couldn’t go out there.”
Renown Regional Medical Center posted a notice on its website less than two hours after the shooting saying operations had returned to normal at the main hospital but police were still investigating the shooting. About two dozen witnesses were taken to police headquarters for interviews.
At least one person was transported by ambulance from the building where the shooting happened to the Renown hospital’s emergency room, less than a block away, said Scott Walquist, a spokesman for the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said on Twitter that he and his staff were monitoring the situation and his thoughts and prayers were with those affected by the tragedy.
The shooting came nearly two months after a 12-year-old boy opened fire at an area middle school, killing a math teacher before taking his own life. Two other students were treated for their injuries at Renown Regional Medical Center, the largest hospital in northern Nevada.
The medical center has treated victims of other recent tragedies in northern Nevada, including a crash at a Reno air race in 2011 that killed 11 people and a rampage at a Carson City restaurant the same year that killed three uniformed Nevada National Guard members.
Associated Press writers Sandra Chereb in Carson City and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.