A deadly tragedy took place at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Monday. An employee at the facility was allegedly gunned down by one of their colleagues in full medical scrubs. The suspect also injured two officers during his capture, according to the authorities that arrived on the scene.
The police say the shooting occurred just after midnight local time on the ninth floor of the hospital’s Gibbon Building. They say no one else was hurt in the shooting.
Police are still investigating the crime scene, but they believe the victim, a certified nursing assistant, was being targeted by the alleged shooter. The perpetrator then left the hospital in a U-Haul van.
About an hour later, someone flagged down a police officer and said someone in medical scrubs was firing a weapon.
A local news outlet obtained police calls from the night of the incident.
“At Jefferson, ninth floor, saying there’s an employee shot. Be advised, inside Jefferson Hospital, we have an active shooter. It’s going to be on the ninth floor. They’ve got a male with scrubs and a mask. Ninth floor, nine west,” the transmission said.
When officers first arrived on the scene, they found the suspect outside a school about four miles away from the hospital at 1:29 AM. The shooter then fired at several officers before they managed to capture him. One officer was hit in the elbow, while the other had a bullet graze their face. Both officers are in stable condition, according to police.
The 55-year-old suspect, who is also a CNA, was then taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where they are expected to survive their injuries. They were shot in the upper body and neck.
Police later searched the suspect’s truck and found a gun, scrub pants, and body armor.
“We learned that he was wearing body armor and was carrying multiple weapons,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “One weapon was believed to be an AR-15 style rifle, and another was a handgun.”
The commissioner added that it’s not clear whether the suspect was working at the time of the shooting. Outlaw said the person entered the hospital wearing scrubs, including places only accessible to employees.
“We do believe that the other employee was targeted,” Outlaw added. “The reasons why, at this point, we still don’t know.”
The police are investigating the relationship between the shooter and victim.
“So, we do believe that we don’t have any other outstanding shooting offenders or suspects from the Jefferson Hospital (incident). We’re not looking for anyone else at this time and that’s all we know,” Outlaw continued.
The identities of both the shooter and victim have not been released to the public.
The suspect’s family told police that he was suffering from mental health issues.
Jefferson Health issued a statement on Monday afternoon following the incident:
“Today, we mourn our colleague who died early this morning during a gun violence incident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. There is a flood of sadness for all of us. Our hearts are broken as we stand together to remember our colleague and recognize his teammates who tried to save him and protect other patients in the area. We also value the bravery of our security guards, as well as Philadelphia police who were injured in apprehending the suspect. You are all heroes.”
The hospital added:
“We stand united against violence. Today, we stand with each other, offer an extra measure of grace to each other, and encourage employees to reach out for help if they, or a colleague is in distress.”
“As with all Jefferson facilities, we have comprehensive, consistent security measures and processes in place to ensure the safety of our patients, students, staff and visitors. Each Jefferson location has policies, procedures, ongoing training and drills to mitigate safety risks. Jefferson does not permit weapons on any of its campuses.”
“In light of this tragic incident, we are offering counseling support for impacted employees and patients. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement during their investigation. We are also very proud of the professionalism and dedication of our colleagues, who despite this tragic incident, continued to carry out their duties taking care of their patients and each other. Safety and security is a top priority for Jefferson. A thorough review will take place to ensure best practices in our safety protocols for all Jefferson facilities.”
This is the second workplace shooting in the city in less than a week.
Just a few days prior, a shooting broke out at Pathways to Housing, which provides services for the homeless.
Nassir Day, a 25-year-old security guard, was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene when the authorities arrived.
Police later found the 59-year-old suspect, Wayne John Dorylis, with a large knife. They took him into custody without incident.
“What can I say about this happening in such a short proximity of time? The good news is that we have both suspects in custody,” Outlaw said of the alleged shooters.
“When you think about this, this is something that you would typically see in a movie or TV series. I’m just happy, we’re all happy, that the injuries tonight didn’t exceed further than what they could have been,” she added.