Wed June 13, 2012
One dead in ECMC shooting, killer still at large
Erie County Medical Center was locked down Wednesday morning after a shooting on the grounds of the East Side campus.
A 33-year-old unidentified woman was shot and killed in the outpatient David K. Miller building, adjacent to the main building, after 7:30 a.m.
The hospital was locked down as police searched for the killer and patients were diverted to other local hospitals.
Around noon Wednesday, the lockdown was lifted for most of the campus expect for the Miller Building, where a person of interest in the shooting is believed to be confined. Other parts of ECMC are beginning to resume normal operations.
Police say the victim shot several times. Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda says the incident was not a random act of violence.
Buffalo Police have identified the "person of interest" as 49-year-old trauma surgeon Dr. Timothy Jorden. Police spokesman Mike DeGeorge says police are still searching for Jorden and he could be armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 911.
The Buffalo SWAT Team, State Police, and assistance from Amherst, Tonawanda and Hamburg Police agencies, as well as Homeland Security and U.S. Marshals all assisted in the hunt for a suspect.
The Erie County Sheriff's Department helicopter swarmed over the scene for about two hours, searching from the air over ECMC.
Grider Street, which had been closed off for much of the morning, re-opened just before noon Wednesday.
Emergency procedures were put in place at nearby schools. Buffalo schools spokeswoman Elena Cala issued the following statement late Wednesday morning.
Following an incident inside Erie County Medical Center early this morning, the Buffalo Public School District is following emergency procedures at schools in the surrounding area. Police officers have patrolled the buildings and have a presence in the area surrounding the schools. School administration is in contact with district administration and law enforcement for further guidance. The district is confident that every effort is being made to ensure the safety of our students and staff at this time.
Authorities are stressing that nearby residents should not be concerned. Mayor Byron Brown, in a news briefing, told reporters "things are well under control" for people inside the hospital.
Families of patients and employees at the hospital can call 898-5500 for information.
WBFO and AM 970 News has also learned that patients at the West Seneca office of the Western New York Medical Park at 550 Orchard Park Road have been locked out of the facility. Though no official reason has been given, speculation is that the move is related to the ECMC incident.
Early Wednesday evening, ECMC CEO Jody Lomeo meet with reporters. ECMC released the following written statement:
“On behalf of the entire ECMC family, I want to express our sincere condolences to the victim’s relatives and friends – many of whom work here among us. This is an unspeakable tragedy for everyone involved. We initiated grief counseling and employee assistance program protocols, as you would expect for a hospital that any day can be faced with multiple trauma cases. For us, that’s really what this is, a trauma within our working family. I have met today with many members of our day and afternoon shifts to explain as much as we know and offer help.
“At this time, all ECMC officials and staff are taking direction from police authorities who are in charge of this investigation. Their first order of business is to apprehend this individual.
“We are a small town on 65 acres. Workplace and domestic violence – the evidence of which we see every day in our ER – are terrible facts of life in our society. I want the Western New York community to know that ECMC is open and functioning and we are doing all we can to support our employees and patients. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our staff, our patients and ECMC and we ask you to keep the victims in your prayers.”
Buffalo Police spokesman Mike DeGeorge tells WBFO & AM-970 as of 7 p.m. Wednesday they still did not have the suspect in custody.