Man with Two Guns Responsible for Western Psych Shooting
A gunman who opened fire after entering the lobby of the Western Psychiatric Institute at the University of Pittsburgh on Thursday was armed with two semi-automatic handguns during a shooting that left two people dead and several others wounded.
The shooter was one of the dead, but there are no details available about who he is and why he was there. Authorities released no details on the other deceased victim. Shortly after the incident, Western Psych and surrounding buildings were locked down as reports of a second gunman swirled.
"But at this point we have no reason to believe that anybody else was involved, in fact we believe the gunman entered Western Psych with two guns in his possession," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
The guns are believed to be semi-automatic handguns.
The mayor stopped short of confirming the gunman was fatally shot by a University of Pittsburgh police officer.
"But I will say that the police acted admirably and did engage in gunfire, but it's too early to say exactly what wound or what gun killed the two deceased, but the police did act courageously," he said.
The wounded were taken across the street from Western Psych to UPMC Presbyterian. Two patients are in the Intensive care unit, two others were evaluated and released with non-gunshot injuries.
"The remaining patients will be admitted, at least three of those will require operations over the next 12 to 24 hours, I expect all who presented to the hospital to do well," said Dr. Donaly Yealy, chair of the Emergency Department at UPMC.
Authorities wouldn't give further details about the wounded, but did say no children were hurt, one of the injured was a University of Pittsburgh Police officer, and five of the wounded are Western Psych employees.
"Care is uncompromised," said Claudia Roth, President of Western Psych, "we will deliver care in the same way we have for the last 40 years, we have maintained staffing, in fact we have additional staffing, we have additional staff wanting to stay and be of help."
After the situation was brought under control, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County police cleared Western Psych floor-by-floor. Roth said now a thorough review of security processes will be done, and added that as more details emerge, it will help inform future security procedures.
A SWAT team was called to the scene, and several university buildings were placed on lockdown along with buildings on the Carlow University Campus, a Pittsburgh Public Schools building and a few other institutions in the area.
Pitt and Carlow are on spring break.