Reporting Meghan McCorkell
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Terrifying moments in the emergency room. Gunfire rang out inside University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center as a prisoner tried to wrestle a gun from the hands of a police officer.
Meghan McCorkell has more on this frightening story.
That prisoner was at the hospital to receive medical attention when he turned on hospital staff and the officer that was guarding him.
Police cars flooded the entrance to the emergency room at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.
Fellow police officers rushed to help when one officer and a prisoner got into a scuffle. It all started around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The officer was guarding a prisoner who’d been taken to the ER for medical attention but a hospital staffer noticed something wrong.
“At some point, one of the hospital staff people discovered that the prisoner had a needle of some sort hidden in his clothing,” said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County Police spokesperson.
The man then grabbed a hospital staffer. That’s when the officer stepped in and the prisoner tried to grab her gun. A struggle ensued and a shot was fired into the wall.
“The officer discharged pepper spray in an attempt to subdue the prisoner. That attempt was unsuccessful,” Armacost said.
Backup officers swarmed the hospital and got the suspect under control.
The emergency room stopped taking patients for several hours. During the investigation, the hospital restricted vehicle access to the ER, blocking off one of the entrances.
In a statement, hospital officials say, “Thanks to the quick response of the emergency department staff and the University of Maryland St. Joseph security team, the incident was resolved quickly with no injury to our staff or patients.”
The prisoner had been arrested on a burglary charge.
County police will conduct an investigation into how the gun was discharged.