[Video below.] Updated: A gunman shot a doctor at the world-famous Johns Hopkins medical complex in Baltimore this morning and barricaded himself in his mother’s hospital room. A SWAT team was readying to take the suspect down when he killed himself and his mom, cops said.
The doctor, identified by Maryland TV stations as spinal surgeon David Cohen, was in critical condition with a bullet in the chest, but expected to live, police said.
“He’s in surgery as we speak, but he’s going to be okay. He’s in the best place he could ever be – at Johns Hopkins hospital,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
A nurse who saw the gunman said he was upset about the medical treatment his mother was getting.
“I started running,” she told the Baltimore Sun. “When you hear gunshots you run.”
Most of the sprawling teaching hospital remained operational but visitors were told to leave.
“The situation is contained,” Guglielmi said, before the gunman was killed. “There’s no risk to the general public, to patients.”
He would not release the identity of the dead gunman, described only as a black man in his 30s, or his mother.
The 11:15 a.m. shooting took place on the eighth floor of the Nelson Building, which includes a thoracic center and trauma care. The building was on lockdown and portions were evacuated.
The Sun reported that so many cops were at the hospital that the department had to call in officers from other districts and detectives were answering 911 calls.
Jacqueline Billy, a respiratory care nurse on the seventh floor, said she fled to an elevator when the shooting took place but accidentally went up to the eighth floor instead of down.
The doors opened on a crowd of cops with guns drawn, telling her to close the door.
“I was petrified, the door opened and there are a bunch of guns. You never expect that,” she told the Sun.
Two weeks ago and 30 miles away, a crazed gunman rampaged through the Silver Spring, Md. headquarters of the Discovery Channel, holding three people hostage for hours until he was shot and killed by police.
Johns Hopkins is one of the founding institutions of American medicine and is consistently ranked best overall hospital in the nation.
The hospital has more than 1,000 beds, 1,700 full-time doctors and 30,000 employees.
Baltimore police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said the doctor had been talking to 50-year-old Warren Davis just after 11 a.m. when he “became emotionally distraught and reacted … and was overwhelmed by the news of his mother’s condition.”
Bealefeld said he did not know what the woman was being treated for at the world-class facility, known for its cancer research and treatment.
Davis then pulled a semiautomatic handgun from his waistband shot the doctor once in the abdomen, the commissioner said.
When officers made their way to the eighth-floor room, they found Warren Davis dead on the floor and his mother dead in her hospital bed.
A small area of the hospital had been locked down before the gunman died, as about a dozen officers wearing vests and helmets and carrying assault weapons prepared to go into the hospital at midday.
The Nelson building is the main hospital tower. According to the Hopkins website, the eighth floor is home to orthopedic, spine, trauma and thoracic services.
The rest of the massive hospital, research and medical education complex remained open, including the emergency department.
Click below for a video report:
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