A shooting Monday morning outside the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore left a 24-year-old hospital employee battling for his life and the alleged gunman custody, police said.
The gunfire broke out at about 7:15 a.m. near an ambulance bay at the hospital, according to Lt. Col. Kevin Jones of the Baltimore Police Department.
The victim, whose name was not released, was shot in the face and buttocks, police said.
Jones said the shooting prompted authorities to place the hospital on lockdown as police officers swarmed the area in search of the suspected gunman.
“This incident was an isolated event. At no time was the general public at risk,” Jones said during a news conference at the hospital.
He said investigators believe the victim and the gunman are acquaintances and were involved in an argument prior to the shooting.
A suspect armed with a loaded handgun was taken into custody two blocks from the medical center, police said.
Dr. Thomas Scalea head of the hospital’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center described the wounded employee as a “valuable member of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.”
Scalea clarified that the victim is not a trauma surgeon as was initially reported by some media outlets.
“He is critically ill,” Scalea said of the victim. “He is on life support. He is actively undergoing procedures to treat his injuries. We are, of course, quite hopeful that everything will be OK, but it’s way too early to tell at this point.”
He said at that at no time was the trauma center shut down during the hospital lockdown.
“We remained opened and ready to take care of anybody else,” Scalea said.
He added that while the trauma center frequently treats gunshot victims, “This one was as close to home as it’s ever been.”