'Pure panic' as gunman opens fire at Reno hospital

11:16 AM, Dec 18, 2013   |    comments
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Carlotta Reid, right, and another woman stand by as a Washoe County Sheriff's deputy walks past outside the medical building where two people were killed and two injured Tuesday. Reid told her husband, John, that the shooter walked past her after shots were fired.

 


 


Reno, NV (RGJ.com) -- A man walked into a medical office on the Renown Regional Medical Center campus in Reno on Tuesday and opened fire, killing one person andwounding two more before turning the gun on himself.

Investigators continued to work late Tuesday as they pieced together the violent episode, which started at 2:05 p.m. inside the offices of Urology Nevada on the third floor of the Center for Advanced Medicine B, 1500 E. Second St.

Reno police arrived within five minutes of the shooting, searching each floor of the 100,000-square-foot building before finding people with gunshot wounds, Reno Police Deputy Chief Tom Robinson said.

Authorities briefly locked down the sprawling medical campus after the shooting, forcing people inside various buildings to seek cover as dozens of police cars from several regional agencies flooded Second Street, shutting it down.

While the identities of the victims and the gunman were not released Tuesday, Nevada Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Gail Powell said a female doctor is among the wounded.

The two wounded victims were in critical condition Tuesday at Renown Regional Medical Center, Robinson said. Police planned to reopen the Center for Advanced Medicine B by this morning so patients can see their doctors, he said.

Robinson said it did not appear the shooting was random, but added he didn't "know anything about motive right now."

Police were working late Tuesday to notify the families of the deceased. More information is expected to be released this morning at a Reno Police Department news conference.

The University of Nevada School of Medicine also has offices on the third floor, but a spokeswoman for the school said everyone in the office was accounted for Tuesday.

On Tuesday night, police had a silver GMC pickup truck from California towed near the scene of Tuesday's shooting.

Witness: 'I thought I was going to die'

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 when she heard gunshots.

"We both heard the first shot," Casey said. "(The nurse) flipped off the light and then we proceeded to hear two to three 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.' "

Robinson said the shooting occurred near a hallway in an unpopulated area on the third floor of the building, which parallels Second Street on the east side of Renown's campus. He said he was not sure if all victims were located in the same area or scattered throughout the floor.

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

Among them was Kandy Hall, a Sparks resident, who was in the waiting room at Urology Nevada when the gunman entered the room about 2 p.m. He was carrying what she described as a long gun.

"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." Hall said everyone started to run for the doors. People crammed 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."

"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."

Daranda Cone of Reno was on her way to a doctor's appointment on the Renown campus when she saw the aftermath of the violence.

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

'She was in pure panic'

Tim Miles, a private contractor who provides IT support for the offices at the Center for Advanced Medicine, said he was in the office Tuesday morning but was not there at the time of the shooting. He said he has been in touch with the people who work in the building.

"Everybody is in shock and trying to digest what happened," he said.

The medical school has about 20 doctors who rotate through that office and Urology Nevada has about 10, he said.

"It's very close to home," he said. "I got to sit back and evaluate, do I need to pay better attention when I'm in the offices?"

He added, "For the rest of my career, I will be on my toes when I go to Renown, or any public place for that matter, a school, the mall."

State Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, was on the Renown campus for a meeting at the time of the shooting.

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

Police armed with rifles stood outside the buildings while witnesses were rounded up by law enforcement and taken away for questioning.

During the chaos, John Reid sped down to Renown after his wife, who works in urology at the hospital, called him crying after hearing shots fired.

"She was in pure panic," Reid said of his wife, Carlotta.

Reid said his wife told him she saw the gunman walk by her after shots were fired. .

"She called on someone else's phone," he said. "I just kept redialing. She never answered."

Reid eventually saw his wife on the corner of Manuel and Second streets with two Washoe County Sheriff's Office deputies. She was OK.

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