Police shoot armed man at Wisconsin Children's Hospital

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 14, 2013 4:55 PM

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Police shot and wounded a 22-year-old man armed with a handgun in the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on Thursday as he fled officers who were seeking to arrest him, sparking a lockdown at the hospital, law enforcement officials said.

No one else was injured in the incident, officials said.

Milwaukee police went to the hospital after receiving a call that the man was there, said Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn. They had intended to arrest the man, who was not further identified, for felony possession of a firearm, Flynn said.

He had been holding a baby when police approached, said Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke. The man fled after putting the baby down, Clarke added.

"At that point, he started to struggle with police," Flynn said, adding two officers chased the man into a hallway, where he drew a semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at them.

The officers fired twice, hitting the suspect once before taking him into custody, Flynn said. The man was hospitalized and was undergoing surgery, he added.

Neither the baby nor the baby's mother was hurt, Clarke said.

The shooting was reported at 11:59 a.m. CST (1759 GMT).

Dozens of police vehicles were parked outside the hospital and officers swarmed around its entrance shortly after the shooting.

The hospital later said the lockdown order had been lifted and police had declared the situation safe. "There is no danger to patients, families or employees," the hospital said in a statement. "Operations have resumed as normal."

One woman who was in the hospital at the time of the incident recalled riding up to the seventh floor with a distraught mother.

"'He's going to shoot my baby, he's going to shoot my baby,'" witness Samantha Cornish, 18, described the woman she rode in the elevator with as saying.

Police did not allow Cornish or the other passengers on the elevator to disembark at the seventh floor, and they rode the elevator down to a lower floor.

Mike Sanfelippo, 39, was leaving the hospital with his wife and 11-year-old son when he heard an announcement that the facility was being locked down due to "an active shooter."

"I was just thinking about protecting my family and getting out," said Sanfelippo, who fled the hospital when he heard the announcement.

The facility describes itself on its Web site as being one of the busiest pediatric hospitals in the nation, having treated more than 350,000 patients in 2011.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, John Wallace and Leslie Gevirtz)