RENO, Nev. — A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos. The Nevada Department of Public Safety said the wounded victims were in surgery and one of them is a doctor. The gunman killed himself after the shooting.
Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson didn't say how many shots were fired or what type of weapon was used, and didn't release the identities of the male shooter or the dead and injured.
Los Angeles Times
The shooter who entered Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., targeted five separate areas of the building and wrote, "The die has been cast," in Latin on his arm, an indication of his plan of attack, authorities said.
In a statement released Tuesday, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson gave new details on last week's violence at the school that left one girl in a coma in critical condition and the shooter, Karl Pierson, dead by his own hand.
According to the sheriff's office, Pierson, 18, entered the building on Friday with a 12-gauge shotgun, a machete, three functional incendiary devices and 125 rounds of ammunition. He opened fire as soon as he entered, hitting Claire Davis, 17, a fellow senior, who has been described as a bystander.
Using an indelible marker, Pierson wrote five separate letters and numbers on his arm, a guide to his plan of attack as he hunted his debate coach with whom he had a disagreement, the sheriff said. The teacher was also the school librarian.
"The letters/numbers written on the shooter's arm (are) an indicator to investigators of the shooter's plan," Robinson said in the statement.
But the sheriff also said investigators will explore whether Pierson had other victims in mind and will closely evaluate "if the occupants of those classrooms may have also been targeted for harm by the shooter."
On the inside of his arm, Pierson also wrote the Latin phrase, "Alea iacta est," which means, "The die has been cast," the sheriff's office said.
State investigators and the FBI have joined the probe, the sheriff said.
He said, however, that investigators were confident no one else was involved.
"They are in the middle of a crime scene," Robinson said of the two bodies still on the third floor of a four-story medical building. "We're in the middle of an investigation and we don't want to compromise that by rushing up to identify them."
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Gail Powell said the wounded doctor is a woman but she had no more information about the shooting that happened at the Center for Advanced Medicine.
Robinson said there were about 100 people in the building when the shooting was reported at 2:05 p.m. Officers entered three to five minutes later and did "a systematic search, floor to floor, room to room," Robinson said.
"On the third floor of the building they located two people down and located two people injured and evacuated the injured parties," he said.
Renown Regional Medical Center was put on lockdown amid the chaos of the shooting as law enforcement rushed to the scene and victims were treated by doctors on the hospital campus. More than three dozen police cars, including SWAT team vehicles, surrounded the sprawling medical complex and closed off a three-block area near downtown Reno.
State Sen. Debbie Smith said she was at Renown for an appointment and was trying to leave a nearby building when the shooting occurred.
"I encountered some SWAT team guys, they said nobody was leaving," she said. "A police officer was at the door and said I couldn't go out there."
Renown Regional Medical Center posted a notice on its website less than two hours after the shooting saying that operations had returned to normal at the main hospital but police were still investigating the shooting. About two dozen witnesses were taken to police headquarters for interviews.
"The biggest piece right now is we are trying desperately to reach the next of kin," Robinson said.
At least one person was transported by ambulance from the building where the shooting happened to the Renown hospital's emergency room, less than a block away, said Scott Walquist, a spokesman for the Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority.
The Center for Advanced Medicine building is a modern structure connected by a second-floor walkway to the hospital and a parking structure.
Police initially said the gunman shot four people before killing himself, but they later said he wounded two people and killed another before committing suicide.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said on Twitter that he and his staff were monitoring the situation and his thoughts and prayers were with those affected by the tragedy.
Renown Regional Medical Center is the largest hospital in northern Nevada. It has played an important role in responding to several recent tragedies in northern Nevada, including a crash at a Reno air race in 2011 that killed 11 people and a rampage at a Carson City restaurant the same year that killed three uniformed Nevada National Guard members.