Sheriff: Suspect Shot, Wounded Inside Hospital

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (AP) Police officers shot and wounded a man inside Children's Hospital of Wisconsin where they had gone to arrest him on a felony warrant, according to Milwaukee County sheriff's officials.

The man, wanted for being a felon in possession of a gun, was visiting the neonatal unit at the hospital in a Milwaukee suburb, Sheriff David Clarke said Thursday. Officers went to the seventh floor and approached the man, who was holding a baby, and told him he was under arrest.

The man put the baby down, "then fled down the hallway and while fleeing produced a handgun and officers were in pursuit," Clarke said. Officers shot and wounded the man, who was taken to another hospital in the medical complex for treatment.

No other hospital staff, patients or others were injured, Clarke said. He would not say whether the man fired any shots.

The hospital issued a statement saying it had locked down the building because of a report at 11:59 a.m. of an active shooter. It issued a second statement about 2 p.m. noting operations had resumed as normal. The hospital would not respond to further questions or general inquiries about staffing on the neonatal unit.

Sheboygan resident Chad Starkey, 29, said he was on the seventh floor and down the hall from his son's room when he heard an announcement over the loud speaker that there was someone on the floor with a gun and that staff and visitors should hide and barricade themselves.

"My first thought was to protect my son," Starkey said. He, his wife and a few nurses hid in a small closet for about 30 minutes. The whole time, he said, he worried someone might hurt his son.

"This is a disgrace. This hospital has to have some kind of security. If one person can get in with a gun, then anyone can," Starkey said.

Irma Blazek, an interpreter, was in the cafe on the first floor of the hospital when she heard a code for an active shooter over the loudspeaker. Blazek said she and 10 to 15 other people hid in a stairwell for over an hour.

"It was just bizarre," Blazek said. "This is the last place you would think something g like this would happen."

Mike Sanfellippo, 39, of Random Lake, was in the hospital with his 11-year-old son who was being treated and on crutches. Sanfellippo said they were ready to leave for the parking lot, but were sent to an administrative building across the street after being told of the lockdown.

Sanfellippo said his first instinct was to "get the hell out of here and protect the kid."

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