CINCINNATI -- A University of Cincinnati Hospital security officer's injuries are "very serious" after he was shot near the entrance of the psychiatric emergency services wing of UC Hospital, according to Cincinnati Police Department Chief Eliot Isaac.
WATCH a news conference with CPD Chief Eliot Isaac below:
In the news conference, Isaac said the officer -- who was unarmed -- spent the afternoon in surgery.
UC Health security officer shot inside or just outside of the doorway of psychiatric ER. He has “very serious” injuries, Chief Isaac said. Suspect fired shots at CPD officer. Officer did not return fire. Suspect is dead from self-inflicted gunshot wound. Motive unclear @WCPO pic.twitter.com/GpCSOFnavM
— Abby Anstead (@AbbyAnstead) December 20, 2017
The suspect fatally shot himself, Isaac said. The suspect "has not been identified -- we're not certain if he's known to any of the employees or medical staff."
The shooting was reported in the 3200 block of Burnet Avenue shorly before 2 p.m.
Cincinnati Police and Hamilton County Deputies responding to report of officer shot at UC campus. CPD spokesman says not considered an active shooter situation. pic.twitter.com/RI5JLwNaNp
— Craig Cheatham (@CheathamWCPO) December 20, 2017
At 2:19 p.m., UC Health tweeted "police responded to an active shooter this afternoon at the UC Health Business Center. Suspect is down. Employees should remain in their areas. Visitors please avoid the area if possible."
Isaac said CPD officers responded to the scene within two minutes. The suspect fired at one responding officer, but the officer was not struck and did not return fire, Isaac said.
According to security expert Dan Kuzniewski, security protocols at mental health clinics have always been a tightrope walk. Patients should never be made to feel as though they are being imprisoned or have done something wrong, but the clinic should also be able to ensure the safety of everyone inside: Patients, staffers and doctors.
"A lot of the concerns are, 'How do we address security and safety without having a negative effect on the patient and care for patients?'" he said.
The gunman was not a current patient at the hospital, and police will not know until he is identified whether he had ever received care there.