Police: Armed man killed after opening fire inside Huntersville hospital

(Fred Craft | WBTV)
(Fred Craft | WBTV)

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Several on duty officers shot and killed a man who was reportedly armed with a gun inside a Huntersville hospital Sunday night.

According to the Huntersville Police Department, the man allegedly fired multiple shots around 11:40 p.m. inside the Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center along the 10030-block of Gilead Road.

The man then disappeared in a corridor and police began a manhunt.

While searching the area, police say they "encountered the man still armed with the gun." Officers said an encounter ensued and multiple shots were fired because they felt "threatened by the man's actions."

The man was pronounced dead on scene, Huntersville police say. The man's name has not been released.

Hospital officials say this was the first active shooter incident at the hospital.

"We have plans and processes in place to respond to emergencies at our facilities, including on-site security.  The emergency procedures were followed at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center today," said hospital spokesperson Jennifer McQuilken Heisler. "Our team did everything they were trained to do to deescalate a volatile situation and keep our patients, their families and friends, and Novant Health team members safe."

Heisler added "This is the type of situation that we hope will never occur, but why we train on a regular basis. Our all-hazards approach includes training and drills for things such as severe weather, fire, acts of violence, and response to mass casualty incidents. For example, in the past week our team prepped for the potential impact of Irma and stands ready to assist in the aftermath if needed."

A woman says she was at the hospital with eight others to see a new baby when the shooting happened. Below is a message the woman sent to our Molly Grantham:

"We are all fine, just shaken to the core - got to leave the hospital about 1am. An announcement came over the hospital loudspeaker at 11:51pm that there was an active shooter on the 2nd floor. There were 9 of us and we went into the 2 bathrooms in an alcove in the back of the waiting room. Turned the light out and waited. Just before I messaged you, we heard 6-8 semi automatic gun shots. Never heard anymore gunshots. I think it was 12:30 when the all clear announcement came over the speaker. During all of this my sister in law (it was her daughter having the baby) was texting with her boss, a major with the Mt Holly Police Dept. He was actually on the phone with Huntersville police and advising us. Apparently a patient on the 2nd floor had a gun and that's all we could find out. "

"Never ever imagined I'd be in that kind of situation waiting to see my new born great nephew, the woman said, admitting she was in a "total panic."

The hospital was temporarily blocked off late Sunday night, but the hospital has since reopened. On the scene, there was a large police presence and people were not being allowed into or out of the hospital for a short time.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations will conduct the investigation into the officer-involved shooting. The officers who were involved were placed on administrative leave following the outcome of the investigation.

Novant Health tweeted this statement Monday morning:

No one else was hurt in the shooting.

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