A man took out a gun and shot a patient in the emergency room of Jacobi Hospital in New York City on Tuesday afternoon and then fled the scene. The incident threw the ER room into lockdown, as the victim lay on the floor. The wild encounter was caught on camera, according to police. The victim, a 35-year-old man, is reportedly a police officer and was shot in the arm.
According to police, before the shooting took place, the two men saw each other and there was a small exchange of words. Police is still looking for the suspect who remains on the lam.
Wild Incident Caught on Camera
Gunfire erupted inside the emergency department waiting room at Jacobi Hospital in Morris Park around 12:40 pm, according to police and a hospital spokesperson. The 35-yerar-old man was in the sitting area outside the emergency room when the other man came.
Surveillance footage shows a black-clad gunman entering the sitting area and pulling out his weapon as he runs from the ER's front desk to the waiting area and aims it at the victim. The victim, who was there to get treatment for a previous injury, on seeing the gunman starts running around the waiting area to take cover from as the gunman points at him, the video shows.
The triggerman then fires at him and flees the scene, the video footage shows.
According to police, at some point, the two men "exchanged looks and words." The man pulled out the handgun only after that before firing four shots, striking the victim, the NYPD said. The victim one gunshot wound to his arm and fell on the ground.
The wild incident resulted in the emergency room to be locked down as hospital authorities wanted to avoid further chaos. The victim had to be immediately rushed for a surgey. His condition, however, is not known.
"This was a cowardly act in a space where New Yorkers come for healing and care. Our health care heroes swiftly took care of the shooting victim and took actions to protect the other patients in the waiting room," a hospital spokesperson said in a statement. "Our immediate focus is on caring for the patient and ensuring the safety of our staff. We are working closely with the NYPD as they conduct their investigation."
Law-enforcement sources said the gunman was at the hospital around 12:30 pm looking for a friend who was arrested and possibly being treated there when he got into an argument with the victim, who he knew. The victim was standing in the waiting area. According to sources, the victim is a police officer and the gunman shot at him in an act of revenge.
A person who was on the fourth floor in the hospital at the time said they heard reports of an active shooter over the hospital loudspeakers and the doors were locked. He said they could not move for more than half an hour.
This was not the first hospital shooting in the borough. Four and a half years ago, a former doctor opened fire inside a Bronx hospital. Authorities said Dr. Henry Bello fatally shot one person and wounded six others at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital on June 30, 2017 before killing himself.
Mayor Eric Adams said he would be visiting the victim at the hospital shortly. "This was a reprehensible act, one made even worse by the fact that it happened in a place where New Yorkers go for safety and to heal," Adams twitted.