By SARAH MASLIN NIR
NEW YORK – At least three doctors were shot inside Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in the Mount Hope neighborhood of the Bronx on Friday afternoon, according to a Fire Department official.
Shortly before 4 p.m., J. Peter Donald, the chief spokesman for the New York City Police Department, said that the shooter was dead.
The condition of the doctors was not known, according to the Fire Department official. Police had not yet secured the area, preventing emergency medical workers from entering the hospital at 1650 Grand Concourse. It was unclear if there were more victims.
In a radio transmission, police had described the gunman as a tall, thin man wearing a blue shirt and white lab coat. A police official said he was armed with a long gun.
Preliminary reports indicate that five to six people are wounded, although their conditions were not immediately known, according to another police official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing event.
“It looks like an employee of the hospital, that’s what we’re hearing, unconfirmed, right now,” the official said.
As the situation continued to unfold, at least one doctor was being treated by people inside the hospital who had tied an emergency fire hose as a tourniquet, the fire department official said.
The victims were on the 16th and 17th floors of the hospital. By 3:30 p.m. the section of the hospital where the injured doctors were contained had been secured and police were leading a heavily armored unit of emergency service workers into the building.
Inside the hospital’s pediatric unit, a woman answering the phone who declined to give her name said that she and others were sheltering in place, unable to leave. “We are just keeping safe. We are OK,” she said. “All of us have to feel tense because of the situation.”
A woman who answered the phone in the hospital’s admittance office, who gave only her first name as Morgan, said that an alert went out to staff members around 3 p.m. ordering them to shelter in place. She said she was huddled in a room with several other workers.
“We have no idea about what is going on,” she said.