A doctor was seriously wounded when he was shot twice Tuesday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in what appeared to have been a targeted attack. The suspect was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation identified the shooter as Stephen Pasceri, 55, of Milbury.
Pasceri went to the second floor of the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center, and asked for the doctor by name about 11 a.m. The two went alone into an adjacent room where Pasceri fired two shots from a .40-caliber pistol into the doctor’s upper body, the law enforcement official said.
The doctor, whose name was not released by authorities, was rushed by his colleagues to the hospital’s emergency room for treatment of life-threatening injuries, police said.
Officers discovered the suspect’s body in an exam room on the second floor of the Shapiro building. A gun was found nearby that police believe he used in the shooting, Police Commissioner William B. Evans said at an afternoon news conference.
Evans called the incident an “unfortunate tragedy.”
“We have one dead, a doctor in serious condition, and all we can do is hope that he pulls through,” he said.
The shooting was reported to police just minutes after 11 a.m. Evans said his officers — including one on paid detail nearby — rushed into the building, along with hospital security officers. Police conducted a room-by-room search of the second floor, and discovered the suspect’s body.
The Shapiro Center is across the street from the main entrance of the Brigham, which is often ranked among the nation’s finest hospitals.
“I am extremely proud of the way our staff responded,’’ said hospital president Dr. Elizabeth Nabel. She lauded the “calm, rapid response” as staff stabilized the victim and got him to the emergency room.
“We had a very tragic situation here this morning,’’ Nabel also said. “I want to thank the Boston Police Department for doing an extraordinary job of responding rapidly.”
The streets around the Shapiro Center were cordoned off with yellow police tape shortly before noon. Two ambulances and about a half-dozen police cars were parked in front of the building.
The incident trapped staff, patients and family members inside the building – sometimes in exam rooms – for about 45 minutes, witnesses said.
Meagan P. McEachron, of Saratoga, N.Y., was on the second floor of the Shapiro Building where her boyfriend underwent cardiac surgery Tuesday morning. She was with her boyfriend’s mother.
They met with the surgeon who told them that the surgery was done. About two minutes after they got that news, an announcement was made over the loudspeaker ordering the immediate evacuation of the second floor, McEachron said.
At about the same time, police officers rushed into the room, guns drawn, shouting at people to “Get down!” or “Get back!” she said. The arrival of police generated panic among those in the space, she said.
People started screaming and then running, panic-stricken, to the glass-enclosed walkway that connects the Shapiro to the other hospital buildings, she said.
“It was pretty scary,’’ McEachron said.
After McEachron spoke with reporters, a police officer asked her to leave the scene, apparently so she could be interviewed by investigators.
Irene Stefanidis had brought her father to the Shapiro Center for some testing. While they were inside an exam room on the first floor, someone announced over the loudspeaker that a life-threatening emergency was taking place on the second floor, and that everyone should go into a room and lock the door behind them.
Nurses came by and told them to lock the door, which they did. Father and daughter huddled there for about 45 minutes until a second announcement was made over the loudspeaker, telling them to unlock the door and leave the building.
As law enforcement officials turned the hospital into a crime scene, a woman with a bloody bandage on her left arm could be seen being escorted from the Shapiro building to another building on the complex while being comforted by a second woman. The woman with the bloody bandage had a blue Brigham name tag on her clothing.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office dispatched prosecutors to the crime scene, a spokesman said.
Streets were ordered closed during the search, and the MBTA briefly shut down Green Line service between Brigham Circle and Heath Street. State Police advised drivers to avoid the area.
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