1 dead, 2 hurt in Reno hospital shooting; gunman apparently kills self

This post has been updated, as indicated below.

A gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital Tuesday afternoon, killing at least one person and critically wounding two others before apparently taking his own life, state emergency officials said.

Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson told reporters the gunman apparently shot himself.

The incident took place on the third floor of a medical building at Renown Regional Medical Center, Robinson said. He estimated that about 100 people were inside at the time.

"The building is secure and safe,"  he said.

The shooting was first reported at 2:05 p.m., Robinson said, and officers responded within three to five minutes and searched room by room. Authorities say the gunman is believed to have killed himself about 3 p.m.

Robinson had no preliminary details to release about the identity of the shooter or his victims, nor about a possible motive or the type of weapon used.

In a statement on its website, Renown Health, which operates the hospital, said the shooting happened at "a professional office building located on the northeast corner of the Renown Regional Medical Center campus."

One person was rushed to surgery, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

Daranda Cone of Reno told the Gazette-Journal she was at the hospital when the shooting happened.

"I saw this woman with blood all over her being rushed past me" to the emergency room, Cone told the newspaper.

Lesley Guerrero, 17, was at the hospital to visit her grandfather in the intensive-care unit and said she was outside when the hospital’s intercom announced a “code black.” From the top of a parking garage, as she watched SWAT team members huddle and enter the medical building where the shooting took place, she said she saw a “flustered” woman pull up in a car.

“She was looking down at the scene and talking on her phone … and I guess that was her building that the shooting was happening in, and she was very concerned about her employees,” Guerrero said. The woman rushed back inside the hospital, and when Guerrero came inside too, she passed three doctors huddled together, one of whom was crying.

“I wondered who got hurt, and it made me feel very concerned,” Guerrero said.

Sharon Spangler, a spokeswoman for the city of Reno, said the shooting occurred at the Center for Advanced Medicine, which is located on the medical center campus but is not affiliated with the hospital.

"They’re leased offices," she said. "They’re not part of the hospital."

Reno-area resident John Reid told the Gazette-Journal that he hurried to the hospital after his wife, Carlotta, who works in urology at the facility, called him crying after hearing shots fired.

"She was in pure panic," he told the newspaper.

Reid said his wife reported seeing the gunman walk past her. He said she was frantic and did not say definitively whether she saw the man fire any shots.

He told the paper that he eventually saw his wife near the shooting scene being escorted by Washoe County sheriff’s deputies.

Pictures broadcast on Reno television showed police SWAT team members going through the building. Video also showed officers running toward the building.

The medical center campus was on lockdown all afternoon, but by 4:15 p.m., TV video showed hospital workers walking away from the facility.

Officials said they had little idea what prompted the shooting.

"We haven’t received any information," Spangler said. "It’s way too preliminary. But police are saying that the shooter took his own life by self-inflicted gunshot wound."

She said the scene in the minutes after the shooting was chaotic.

"There were police everywhere," Spangler said. "The Reno police are being assisted by law enforcement from around the area. There were police cars everywhere."

Matt Lush, a 20-year-old junior at University of Nevada’s journalism school, said he was doing Christmas shopping in the area when he saw the alert on his phone. “I rushed over to take photos and see what was going on,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

When Lush arrived, he saw police cars everywhere, including two SWAT team cars.  Police shut down E. 2nd Street in the 1400 block area and Pringle Way, which intersects it, he said.

After the shootings, “police got as many people out of the building as possible,” Lush said.

Angelo Rambo, a public affairs officer for the hospital, said the two injured victims were being treated at the center. Both were in critical condition, officials said.  

Spangler said that several witnesses had been taken to Reno police headquarters for questioning. “The police say they’ve entered the investigative phase of this incident,” she said.

She added that officials had yet to notify relatives of the dead and injured and were therefore not releasing identities. “What we do know is there are no more outstanding suspects,” she said.

Reno police scheduled a news conference for Wednesday morning.

Jan Tors, a spokeswoman for the University of Nevada, whose medical school has offices in the building, issued a news release just after 4:30 p.m., saying all students and faculty members were safe.

"We are relieved to report [University of Nevada School of Medicine] officials have received confirmation that all UNSOM faculty and staff at that location are accounted for and safe," she wrote. "Reno Police Department and Renown Health have issued notices confirming the threat is clear."

She encouraged faculty, staff and students to register with the university’s emergency messaging system, which sends messages to all enrolled cellphones and email accounts in the event of an emergency.

Late in the day, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) responded on Twitter to the tragedy.

“Saddened by tragic shooting at Reno's Renown Regional Medical Center,” he wrote. “My heart goes out to the victims and their families.”

Updated: This post incorporates new information gathered in the last 90 minutes.

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