Gunman opens fire at New York City hospital; casualties reported


A man pulled a rifle from under his white lab coat and opened fire inside a New York City hospital, killing at least one person and wounding others before apparently taking his own life, authorities said.

Shots were fired inside New York City’s Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center on Friday afternoon, police said, with local media reporting several people, including at least three doctors, wounded in the gunfire.

The gunfire broke out at 2:50 pm, bringing police cars and firetrucks rushing to the scene and sending officers onto the roof with their guns drawn as people inside the building were told to hide.

Officers went floor by floor looking for the gunman and reported just before 4pm that the shooter was dead inside the building. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the gunman apparently killed himself.

There was no immediate word on a motive, but the law enforcement official said the gunman may have been a former employee.

According to the law enforcement official, the shooter was wearing a lab coat and had the rifle concealed. The official was not authorized to discuss the still-unfolding investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Police were still trying to identify how many people had been shot; emergency crews had been kept from going inside the hospital while the shooter was at large.

The 120-year-old hospital has nearly 1,000 beds and one of the busiest emergency rooms in New York City. It is about a mile and a half north of Yankee Stadium.

As least one of the wounded doctors was being treated by people inside the hospital who fashioned a tourniquet from an emergency fire hose, according to the official, the Times said.

As many as five or six people may have been wounded, the Times said, citing a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Police had yet to secure the area, preventing emergency medical workers from entering, the Times said.

Police swarmed the hospital searching for an assailant, the New York Daily News said.

CBS News originally reported that the gunman, believed to be a former hospital employee, had a rifle and had barricaded himself inside the building.

On Twitter, the New York Police Department told members of the public to avoid the area around the hospital, located in the borough of the Bronx at 1650 Grand Concourse, in the Mount Hood neighbourhood.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-06-30

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