PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — University of Pittsburgh police gave more insight into the shooter’s actions and the police response to the tragedy at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Oakland.
The rampage began in the reception area. The gunman, 30-year-old John Shick shoots a receptionist and a security guard — and then two others — a unit clerk and a person believed to be a doctor or psychiatrist.
Then the gunman disappears behind a bank of elevators. Police say he went up a stairway and tried to escape through the garage.
Six Pitt police officers respond and as they have been trained following the Virginia Tech shooting, divide into teams of three.
Later, one of the teams confronts the gunman in a hallway and a gunfight ensues. In the melee, an estimated 30 rounds are fired and the gunman is fatally shot in both the head and chest.
When the dust settles, another person is found dead – later identified as Western Psych employee Michael Schaab.
Initially, it is thought that Schaab had been caught in the crossfire, but police are now confident that he was shot by the gunman.
“We base that preliminary assessment on reports that the victim was already down on the ground before the University of Pittsburgh officers arrived on scene,” Pittsburgh Police Commander Thomas Stangrecki said.
There were reports and concerns of another gunman – and possibly a hostage situation – but after the building was scoured by Allegheny County Sheriff’s deputies and SWAT officers, they were determined to be unfounded.
“There was only one suspect involved and he was shot and killed by the University of Pittsburgh police officers,” Stangrecki said.
In the end, there was sorrow and a gratitude that the situation could have devolved into much greater carnage.
“My thoughts and prayers are for the family of the injured and deceased,” Pitt Police Chief Tim Delaney said. “My praise is for the bravery of my officers.”
STORY: Victim Worked As Therapist At Western Psych (3/9/12)
STORY: Mayor: Western Psych Shooter Had 2 Guns, Acted Alone (3/8/12)
STORY: Sources: Western Psych Shooter Had No ID (3/8/12)
LINK: Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
VIDEO: Western Psych Shooting Press Conference
PHOTO GALLERY: Shooting At Western Psych Leaves 2 Dead, Several Injured
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