x

Society

Shooting at Suburban NY Hospital was Murder-Suicide

August 8, 2018

VALHALLA, N.Y. (AP) — A man shot a female patient and then killed himself at a suburban New York hospital Wednesday, police said.

Police were trying to determine the connection between the two, who were found in a fourth-floor room after gunfire rang out around 9:40 a.m. at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, a major medical campus about 35 miles north of Manhattan. No one else was in the room at the time, Westchester County Police Commissioner Thomas Gleason said.

“There appears to be some type of family relationship between the two victims and a murder-suicide-type situation,” Westchester County Police Commissioner Thomas Gleason said. He said both people were in their 70s.

The woman was found in a bed, the man on the floor, and a .38-caliber revolver on the scene, he said. It’s unknown how many shots were fired.

Dr. Srihari Naidu, an interventional cardiologist at the hospital, told The Associated Press by phone that he was at his office in a nearby building when he got an “active shooter alert,” followed by a lockdown notification that lasted for about a half-hour.

The building where the shooting happened is “very well-guarded,” he said, and many areas cannot be accessed without badges.

Police said the hospital’s armed security staff responded immediately, and police arrived within two minutes.

Jatziri Escobar, a patient who arrived at the hospital shortly after 9 a.m., told The Journal News that she was in a room on the first floor when staff ran through the building alerting patients about the active shooting.

“I was kinda scared, but one of the officers told me to relax and all would be OK,” said Escobar, 22, of Elmsford.

Photos posted on The Journal News and social media showed police blocking the entrance to the hospital and workers in lab coats and scrubs gathered outside it.

The hospital totals over 600 adult, pediatric and psychiatric beds in a campus in northern Westchester.

Former President Bill Clinton went there in 2004 for chest pains and shortness of breath; a test revealed narrowing of several vessels of his heart, and he underwent a quadruple bypass three days later at a Manhattan hospital. The hospital’s burn center treated ESPN anchor Hannah Storm for burns to her face, hands, chest and neck in a propane gas grill accident in 2012.

Shootings at hospitals aren’t unheard-of: A 2012 study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine counted 154 of them from 2000 through 2011.

In July 2017, a doctor who had been forced to resign from Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York City two years earlier amid a sexual harassment claim opened fire inside the hospital on June 30, killing a doctor and hurting six others, authorities said. Police said the doctor, Henry Bello, killed himself at the scene.

Hospitals have been beefing up security in the wake of last year’s Bronx shooting.

Two hospitals on Long Island recently started arming their security guards. Another now requires visitors to show identification and obtain a hospital-issued guest pass before passing through security turnstiles.

Other New York-area hosptials have been hiring police officers to provide security.

A third-party company provides security for Westchester Medical Center.

RELATED

COLLEYVILLE, Texas — An armed man who took four people hostage during a 10-hour standoff at a Texas synagogue had spent time in area homeless shelters in the two weeks leading up to the attack, and was dropped off at one by someone he appeared to know.

Top Stories

Politics

ANKARA - Turkey's swiveling between offering diplomacy or gunboats and demands that Greece take troops off its islands near Turkey's coast is roiling the waters between the countries and plans to hunt for energy.

United States

NEW YORK – Grammy-nominated artist Eric Alexandrakis announced his latest release due out on February 1, titled Good Girls Never Waltz With Me, another new genre-bending addition to his critically acclaimed TERRA series of releases.

General News

ATHENS – Five members of the World Hellenic Interparliamentary Association (WHIA), with Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis as head of the group, visited Evros on January 12-13.

Video

Big Voting Bill Faces Defeat as 2 Dems Won’t Stop Filibuster

WASHINGTON — Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital for protecting democracy appeared headed for defeat as the Senate churned into debate, a devastating setback enabled by President Joe Biden's own party as two holdout senators refuse to support rule changes to overcome a Republican filibuster.