A gunman opened fire at an Alabama hospital and wounded three people after being confronted by police officers. After he shot and wounded a police officer and two employees, a second police officer returned fire and killed the suspect.
The incident occurred at around 4 a.m. on Saturday morning after the unidentified shooter was seen carrying a gun through the fifth floor of St. Vincent’s hospital in Birmingham, Alabama and the police were called.
“When police arrived at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham and approached the suspect, he opened fire,” said Sergeant Johnny Williams, spokesman for the Birmingham Police Department.
The man was ordered to leave the hospital a few hours before at 8 P.M. on Friday, where his wife was being treated. He believed his wife was not receiving proper care at the hospital, according to AL.com. He returned to the hospital armed with a handgun at 4 a.m. when employees were forced to implement their late night security plan.
“There is a security plan and it was implemented,” said hospital spokeswoman Liz Moore. The hospital employs security guards but they are unarmed.
Following the tragedy, a statement was issued by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital on emergency room security:
“UAB Hospital does everything it can to keep its patients, visitors and employees safe, including 24-hour security at all entrances to the emergency department and throughout the area provided by UAB’s accredited and armed police department, and having all persons entering the emergency department through the walk-in entrance pass through a metal detector. The safety of our patients, visitors and our staff is very important to us; therefore, UAB Hospital and the UAB Police Department are constantly studying and revising safety and security plans and procedures.Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the families of those involved in Saturday morning’s incident at St. Vincent’s Birmingham and to all of our colleagues there as they deal with this tragedy.”
Police will not release the identity of the gunman until his family is noticed, according to Williams. The injuries suffered by the wounded officer and two employees are not considered life-threatening and they have been transferred to another hospital for treatment. The motive of the gunman remain unknown at this time.