DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A Veterans Affairs hospital housekeeping employee and a retired worker were struggling over a gun in a break room Monday when the firearm went off, leading to the employee's shooting and the retiree's arrest, police said.
The victim, 61-year-old Paul Burnside, was shot once in the ankle, said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl. The suspect, Neil Moore, 59, was taken into custody after seeking psychiatric treatment at a different hospital a few miles away, Biehl said.
"Somehow he was able to get from here to there," the chief said.
Moore and Burnside apparently knew each other, but it was too soon to determine what led to the shooting, Biehl said. Moore worked in housekeeping for 27 years before retiring last October, according to a statement from the hospital. Burnside also was a housekeeping aide and started at the hospital in 1998.
Three peopled witnessed the shooting, authorities said. In a 911 call, an officer with the Veterans Affairs police told a dispatcher the suspected gunman was wearing a jacket with a U.S. Marine Corps emblem and that they were searching for him on the first floor. The FBI said a revolver was found later inside the suspect's vehicle.
Moore's sister-in-law, Stephanie Brooks, told reporters outside the family's home in the Dayton suburb of Trotwoood that they were devastated. "We're all confused and we're trying to find out what has happened," she said.
Myshalee Williams, a neighbor, said Moore was always kind and soft-spoken. "He is always so friendly and he really is a good family man. He loves his children and his grandchildren," she said.
Burnside's daughter, Shirneal Burnside, 16, said outside his house Monday that she didn't know much about what happened.
"It's just crazy that people do such things," she said.
The shooting, during the lunch hour in the basement of the hospital's main building in the service and operations area, caused a lockdown at the hospital as FBI agents searched the complex. Authorities also blocked roads leading to the hospital complex.
James Woods, of Dayton, was at the hospital for dialysis and inside an adjacent building when he heard over the loudspeaker there was a lockdown. He didn't know what was going on initially, but soon found out soon that there had been shooting and a suspect had been caught.
The hospital complex has beds for about 450 people and provides veterans with medical, mental health and nursing home care.
It does not have metal detectors at its entrances, but the hospital does have its own security force.
Four years ago, an Iraq War Army veteran wearing military fatigues shot himself to death at a monument to soldiers outside the same hospital. The man, Jesse C. Huff, had been a patient there. He had been wounded by an explosive device in Iraq.
Associated Press writers Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus and John Seewer in Toledo contributed to this report.