BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore drug treatment clinic opened its doors to patients again Monday for the first time since a deadly shooting there.
“That was the main topic today,” said patient Tonya Garrett. “We’re back. We’re here. I’m so sad this had to happen, but it’s a good program.”
Man Alive is the oldest methadone clinic in Maryland and the second oldest in the United States.
Executive Director Karen Reese said in a Facebook post, “Our hearts are broken over the lives lost and those staff who were injured and traumatized. …We choose not to focus on the violence but rather on the support that we’ve experienced over the past few days.”
“Over the past 52 years, our clinic has never experienced this kind of violence. While it has shaken us, it will never stop us from continuing our mission in the community we love,” Reese wrote.
She also expressed condolences to the family of David Caldwell, a phlebotomist working for LabCorp who was shot to death.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the family of David Caldwell. His bright spirit will live on at Man Alive in the hearts of patients and staff,” Reese said in the post.
Caldwell’s sister Charlene Weigman said he expressed worries about getting into and out of the workplace safely. “In his belongings, we found a piece of paper that said if something happens, LabCorp is aware he complained about security,” Weigman said.
Patient Stephanie McDonald Christian remembers Caldwell as caring and professional. “We’re going to miss David a lot. He’s a really good man,” she told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren. “He came to work. He did his job, and he talked to patients like they are regular people. It’s no more here today, gone tomorrow. It’s here today, gone today. That’s terrible.”
Herman Bowens says Caldwell was a “kind, good person” with candy to hand out to his patients. He says clinic staff put up a picture of David inside the clinic as a memorial to him. “It’s really sad. I guess life goes on,” he told Hellgren.
BPD Sgt. Bill Shiflett was released from the hospital Sunday after he was treated for a gunshot wound to his abdomen. Shiflett was wearing a bullet-proof vest, but the bullet fired landed just under the vest.
- BPD Sgt. Bill Shiflett, Injured In Fatal Methadone Clinic Shooting, Released From Hospital
- Family Of Man Murdered In Baltimore Clinic Shooting Says He Had Safety Concerns
- Victim Of Baltimore Methadone Clinic Shooting David Caldwell Laid To Rest
His commander Major Rich Gibson tweeted, “The outpouring of support from everyone was overwhelming. Please keep Bill and his family in your prayers as he continues to recover.”
Update on Sgt Bill Shiflett. This afternoon Sgt Shiflett was released from the hospital and is home resting comfortably. The outpouring of support from everyone was overwhelming. Please keep Bill and his family in your prayers as he continues to recover. @mayorbcyoung pic.twitter.com/1mko1jgImg
— Rich Gibson (@MajorRichGibson) July 21, 2019
Police have yet to release body camera video of the shootout. They also have revealed little about the motive of accused shooter Ashanti Pinkney.
David Caldwell, 52, was shot and killed Monday morning inside the Man Alive clinic on Maryland Ave. and West 21st Street.
“He was killed when he was trying to help people who were trying to better themselves,” Caldwell’s niece, Stephanie Weigman, said. “It’s really hard to take in because it takes a special person to work in a clinic like that.”
Another clinic staffer was also shot, but survived.
Pinkney died in the shootout. Witnesses said he was a patient at the clinic who demanded methadone.
Police released the body camera footage Tuesday. Police have not yet discussed the motive of accused shooter Ashanti Pinkney.
In a Facebook post, Man Alive called it the “darkest day” in their 52-year history.