Lockdown lifted at Houston hospital after shots fired

A lockdown at East Houston Regional Medical Center was lifted Monday after officials say someone fired shots outside the emergency room.

HOUSTON - A lockdown at East Houston Regional Medical Center was lifted Monday after officials say someone fired shots outside the emergency room.

Authorities responded to the scene just after 2 p.m. Monday in the 13100 block of the East Freeway.

Witnesses described pandemonium outside the emergency room after a spray of gunfire that sent people scrambling for cover.

According to witnesses, at least 10 shots were fired in the drive-by shooting.

They say it happened right after a white older model Ford Explorer pulled up to the emergency room entrance. 

Officials say a 17-year-old, who had been shot at a different location, got out of that white SUV and rushed into the hospital to be admitted.

A man who was in the SUV was seen wielding a gun, but police do not believe he fired any shots.

Someone in a red SUV, a newer model Explorer or Expedition, was seen holding a gun out the window as he drove down the street. Authorities believe he was aiming at the white SUV that had transported the teen to the hospital.

The bullets ricocheted off of several cars, including the vehicle belonging to a couple who had just pulled up to pick up a friend.

“Car pulled up next to us…he got out with a gun…I look at him…and I hear popping," said Blake Taylor, a witness. "I look at the girl running, and she’s ducking and running…the valet dude ducking….I look out at the street, and somebody is holding their hand out the window shooting…I ducked her down, and I reversed. I was scared for my life."

One of the bullets struck the side their car. Fortunately, it did not make it all the way through.

That couple who found themselves caught in the spray of gunfire peeled out of the parking lot, as did several others in the area.

Initially, there was a lot of concern inside the hospital that this was an “active shooter situation.” Police want to emphasize that is not the case.

The 17-year-old shot at a different location is expected to be OK, but police say he’s claiming he doesn’t know the driver in the white SUV who took him to East Houston Regional Medical Center.

Police are now searching for the driver of the red SUV involved, as well as possibly a third SUV that may be involved. That SUV is described as a black Chevy Trailblazer. 

East Houston Regional Medical Center released the following statement:

"The gunshot victim that arrived in our Emergency Room at 2:00 p.m. today is in stable condition. The first concern of hospital staff was to provide for the continued care and safety of the patients and visitors including temporarily restricting access to the facility as a precaution to help ensure the safety of patients, visitors and employees. Thanks to the quick response and professionalism by the Houston Police Department, the hospital was able to lift restrictions and return to normal operation at approximately 3:30 p.m."

(© 2016 KHOU)


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