2 dead, 2 injured in Reno hospital shootings

9:22 PM, Dec 17, 2013   |    comments
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Deadly shooting at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Dec. 17, 2013 (Graphic courtesy Stephen Reich/RGJ)

8:37 p.m. update

Shooting sequence of events on Renown Regional Medical Center campus:
2:05 p.m.: Reno Police Department gets call of shots fired at Renown Regional Medical Center campus.

Police arrive within five minutes of the shooting, searching each floor before finding four people with gunshot wounds on the third floor of the four-floor Center for Advanced Medicine B., 1500 E. Second St.

About 3:15 p.m.: Reno police meet with members of the media to announce two had died in a shooting inside the offices of Urology Nevada.

About 4:45 p.m.: Reno Police Deputy Chief Tom Robinson says, "Right now we are now transitioning from operational, tactical to investigative. No outstanding suspects. Cleared the entire building and processed through the scores of people inside." Renown announces the building is opened for people to leave.

At about 5:30 p.m.: Renown posted an update saying the Center for Advanced Medicine B will remain closed until the police complete their investigation. They said it could remain closed through Wednesday morning.

At about 6 p.m.: Reno police and members of Renown say no further information will be released. A news conference is announced for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Reno Police Department.

Background on Center for Advanced Medicine

Michael Munda, director of accreditation and regulatory compliance at Renown, said the 100,000 square foot building is not owned by Renown and that it is managed by Pacific Medical Buildings, a health care building manager.

Pacific Medical Buildings did not return a phone call Tuesday evening.

8:22 p.m. update

Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said the shooting on the Renown medical campus in Reno doesn't appear to be random.

"I wouldn't say they were targeted, but I don't think it was just a random," he told reporters outside the medical building on the campus of the Renown Regional Medical Center.

Investigators said they were confident no one else was involved.

Robinson said he didn't know how many shots were fired or what type of weapon was used.

7:35 p.m. update

A gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, critically wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos.

The wounded victims were in surgery and one of them is a doctor, the Nevada Department of Public Safety said.

The gunman killed himself after the shooting, which Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said doesn't appear to be random.

"I wouldn't say they were targeted, but I don't think it was just a random," he told reporters outside the medical building on the campus of the Renown Regional Medical Center.

6:45 p.m. update

Reno deputy police chief Tom Robinson said there were about 100 people in the building when the shooting was reported at 2:05 p.m. Officers entered three to five minutes later and did "a systematic search, floor to floor, room to room," Robinson said.

"On the third floor of the building they located two people down and located two people injured and evacuated the injured parties," he said.

6:05 p.m. update

Reno police say they are working on leads to identify the shooter at the Renown campus.

5:59 p.m. update

Reno deputy police chief Tom Robinson: "We expect to have some names on Wednesday, tomorrow morning."

5:56 p.m. update

Reno deputy police chief Tom Robinson: The shooting doesn't appear to be random but police do not know anything about motive now.

Robinson: Our goal is to get the (Center for Advanced Medicine) open in the morning so they can see patients.

5:54 p.m. update

Reno deputy police chief Tom Robinson: A lot of people work (at Renown), they deal with trauma, but when it hits home like that it's a whole different level.

5:53 p.m. update

Reno deputy police chief Tom Robinson says the two persons injured in Renown shooting are in critical condition.

5:52 p.m. update

The Nevada Department of Public Safety said earlier this evening that the wounded victims were in surgery and one of them is a doctor. They are reported in critical condition.

5:51 p.m. update

Statement from University School of Medicine School of Medicine Dean Thomas L. Schwenk:

"We are very relieved that our faculty and staff members are safe tonight but are deeply sorry about all those affected by this tragedy. Our thoughts are with them tonight."

5:50 p.m. update

Services are back to normal at Renown Regional Medical Center following a shooting at the Center for Advanced Medicine that claimed two lives and injured two others.
Patients with Wednesday appointments can visit the hospital as scheduled, said Renown spokeswoman Angela Rambo.

"We've resumed normal operations at Renown Regional," Rambo said. "As of tomorrow, we don't expect any delays in services."

As a Level 2 trauma center, Renown practices several emergency scenarios under a national model known as the Hospital Incident and Command System.

The system comes with various codes for a range of incidents, including one for shots fired, said Michael Munda, director of accreditation and regulatory compliance at Renown. Depending on the situation, evacuations are also one of several scenarios that Renown practices for. These include ensuring access to staging areas, supplies and addressing the needs of patients with special needs.

During these kinds of emergency incidents, the hospital calls what's known as a "code triage" and forms a specialized hospital incident and command team.

"Everyone has a role and one of those is to ensure the safety of current patients and also to control access," Munda said. "We've trained to do all these events and practice them through nationally recognized (standards) for emergency management practices."
Use of a code triage is not limited to incidents that occur on the Renown campus - it's also standard practice for other serious emergencies.

Renown also called a code triage during the shootings at IHOP and John Ascuaga's Nugget. Dealing with emergencies also require a team effort within the community, which was demonstrated by the response to the Reno Air Races crash in 2011.

"This just isn't about Renown - the first responder community in Nevada is a very tight knit group," Munda said. "Whether it be REMSA, Washoe County Health District or the state, we all practice a lot. One of the main points (for emergency response) is you have to have community integration."

5:30 p.m. update

Kandy Hall, a Sparks resident was in the waiting room at Urology Nevada when the gunman, entered the room about 2 p.m.

"This man came through the door into the waiting room with (a gun) at his side," she said. "He pointed it at me and then he brandished it at everyone else that was sitting against the wall and he said something like, 'everybody get out of here,' or 'you'd all better get out of here.' Then he opened the door to go back to where the doctor and the nurses were."

Hall said the receptionists and medical staff began shouting, "He's got a gun. He's got a gun. Get out of here. So everyone started to run for the doors and cramming everyone into the elevators."

She said she did not hear the gunshots.

"I was already in the elevators when it happened," she said. "Other than having a gun pointed at me and it scaring the life out of me, I didn't see the actual shooting or hear the actual shooting."

Hall described the shooter as a white man, dressed casually and "a little bit on the tall side," but couldn't provide any more description.

"It was such a shock that I saw the gun," she said. "He looked me right in the face, but I don't remember (what he looked like). I was just so shocked to see the gun that nothing else registered with me."

5:28 p.m. update

Renown posted an update saying the Center for Advanced Medicine B will remain closed until the police complete their investigation into the shooting. The hospital will post an update on Wednesday morning on the status of the site. Visitors are encouraged to avoid the Second and Manuel streets on the north side of the campus. Employees can park in the Mill Street parking garage.

5:22 p.m. update

Jane Tors, spokeswoman for the University of Nevada, School of Medicine, which has offices on the floor of the Renown facility where the shooting took place, said at 5:15 p.m. that the faculty and staff who were at the site at the time of the shooting have been released to go home.

Anne McMillin, also a spokeswoman, said the building "will be closed on Dec. 18 as the location is an active crime scene. School of Medicine staff members are calling patients to reschedule appointments and is offering its own psychiatry staff to provide employee counseling as requested.

"The medical school has also cancelled a previously scheduled community physicians' meeting scheduled for tonight in light of this afternoon's events."

5:11 p.m. update

Starrla Casey of Sparks, was in a treatment room with a nurse at Urology Nevada, waiting to have a catheter removed after a recent medical procedure.

"We both heard the first shot," she said. "(The nurse) flipped off the light and then we proceeded to hear 2 to 3 more shots."

Casey said she feared for her life.

"I thought I was going to die, because I didn't know if he was going to keep on shooting or not," she said. "I was texting my children and telling them I love you."

5:08 p.m. update

Renown Regional Medical Center posted a notice on its website less than two hours after the shooting saying that operations had returned to normal at the main hospital but police were still investigating the shooting in an office building on the northeast corner of the campus.

The Center for Advanced Medicine building is a modern four-story structure connected by a second-floor walkway to the hospital and a parking structure.

4:59 p.m update

Reno Police Deputy Chief Tom Robinson said Second Street on the north side of the hospital will remain shutdown late into the evening.

He said reports of the shooting came in at 2:05 p.m. Tuesday. Police immediately began a floor-to-floor search of the building after arriving three to five minutes after the initial report,

Robinson said,when they arrived on the third floor they found two people down and others injured.

He said he was not sure how long the shooting lasted.

"Everyone is accounted for and we are confident that we have identified everyone in the building at the time this happened," he said.

Robinson said more than 100 people were in the building at the time of the shooting.

4:58 p.m. update

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said on Twitter that he and his staff were monitoring the situation and his thoughts and prayers were with those affected by the tragedy.

4:50 p.m. update

Reno Police Deputy Chief Tom Robinson: "Right now we are now transitioning from operational, tactical to investigative. No outstanding suspects. Cleared the entire building and processed through the scores of people inside." Renown says the building is now open. RPD said the Center for Advanced Medicine will remain closed this evening for the investigation.

4:50 p.m. update

Reno PD: Biggest piece right now is informing next of kin of victim. Also, police were doing room by room search, found victims on 3rd floor of Center for Advanced Medicine building. Reno PD confirms shooter is a male.

4:48 p.m. update

Renown posted the following update on its website:
"Renown Regional Medical Center has returned to normal business operations. People are able to come and go as needed. However, everyone is encouraged to avoid the NE corner of the hospital campus. We continue to work with the Reno Police Department on their investigation."

4:44 p.m. update

Reno deputy chief said two wounded people are still being treated. The hospital is still open. Second Street near Renown will be shut down until midnight, Reno deputy chief said.

4:13 p.m. update

Reno deputy police chief: 2 people, including shooter confirmed dead and 2 others wounded at Renown

3:40 p.m. update

Reno police now say two people have died and two were wounded in the shooting.

3:20 p.m. update

The Associated Press reports the shooter injured four people before killing himself, according to police.

Reno police say the man entered the Center for Advanced Medicine at Renown Regional Medical Center at about 2:45 p.m. with at least one firearm and began shooting.

Reno police Lt. Tom Robinson says the shooter turned the gun on himself before 3 p.m.
__

Dr. Andy Pasternak, a Reno doctor in private practice, said his wife JoAnn Ellero is an anesthesiologist working at the Renown South Meadows campus today and they are in lockdown an hour after the shooting at the main campus.
"I just talked with JoAnn and they are still in lockdown," he said. "There's nothing happening there but they are just taking that precaution."

Angela Bailey said she had a doctor's appointment inside the office building at 1500 East Second Street but wasn't let in the building.

3:08 p.m. update

"There are cops everywhere. I can't get in. They shut the whole building down for the rest of the day and maybe tomorrow. I guess my doctor's appointment is canceled."

3:02 p.m. update

Daranda Cone of Reno was on her way to a doctor's appointment at Renown when the shooting happened between 2 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

"I saw this woman with blood all over her being rushed past me to the ER," Cone said.

State Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, was on the Renown campus for a meeting at the time of the shooting and is currently holed up in a building on the northwest side of the campus.

"I'm in the building across from the parking lot, they won't let anybody out," Smith said by phone. "They just moved all the people from where it took place into the main building."

Smith added, "They told me I should plan on staying in here for an hour."

2:52 p.m. update:

Reno Police Department Deputy Chief Tom Robinson said there is one person dead and that the person is believed to be the shooter. A second person is in surgery.

VIDEO: Scene of shooting at Reno medical center

2:50 p.m. update

Dense Calzada was trying to go to a doctor's appointment at Renown but was turned away. "A guy told us there was a shooting at the place where we were supposed to go. I guess they are evacuating right now."

 2:35 p.m. update:

Police are telling officers to wait in place while they develop an evacuation strategy.

Courtney at Coach Craft Autobody across the street from the medical facility said she does not know what is going on.

"All the sudden every cop in the world showed up," Courtney said. "They just told us to stay inside and lock the doors. It's scary. Hitting close to home. "

The shooting is at the Renown Regional Medical Facility campus at 1500 E. Second St., said RPD Sgt. Albert Snover.

The radio scanner traffic indicates the shooter is down.

There are attempting to do a medical evacuation of the scene, Snover said.

"Most people have locked themselves inside the office and it's ging to be a slow process getting people out of there," Snover said.

Steve Timko
Reno Gazette-Journal

Reno Gazette-Journal and The Associated Press

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