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Two Dead In University Of Pittsburgh Clinic Shooting

Mar 8, 2012
Originally published on March 8, 2012 6:23 pm

A gunman opened fire inside a psychiatric clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, this afternoon.

Quoting police, the AP reports two people are dead and at least seven others were wounded. A spokesman for the medical center said the gunman is among the dead. The AP adds:

"The gunfire at a psychiatric clinic at the University of Pittsburgh erupted Thursday afternoon.

"Neighboring buildings have been placed on lockdown, police said. Police initially were looking for a second gunman, but the medical center says police later reported there was only one.

"A SWAT team was on the scene. A street was blocked off, and the area thronged with police. Most students are on spring break, though offices and buildings have been open."

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

Update at 6:44 p.m. ET. Mayor Say Shooter Had Two Guns:

The Pittsburgh mayor says the shooter had two semi-automatic handguns, the AP reports.

"Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said the man exchanged gunfire with police and was shot dead Thursday but not before one other person was killed and seven others were hurt, apparently by his gunfire. One injured person wasn't hurt by gunfire," the AP reports.

The local CBS station quotes the hospital as saying that two of the victims were in intensive care.

Update at 6:18 p.m. ET. Yelling And Hiding:

In its latest write-through the AP talks to another witness who said the shooting lasted about 15 minutes. The AP reports:

"Gregory Brant said he was in a waiting room on the first floor of the clinic building when pandemonium broke out. 'We heard a bunch of yelling, some shooting, people yelling, "Hide! Hide!"' he said. 'Everyone's yelling, "Stay down!"'

"Brant, 53, and six other people, including a young girl and her parents, barricaded themselves inside the waiting room. ...

"The group crouched in a corner, hoping the gunman wouldn't see them as he went past, Brant said. The men in the group decided on the spot that if the gunman entered the room, they would rush him.

"'We were kind of sitting ducks,' Brant said. 'Luckily, he didn't see us in there, and we didn't make eye contact with him.'"

Update at 5:41 p.m. ET. 'Under Control Very Quickly':

The local CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh spoke to one woman who was at the lobby of the clinic. Here's video of the station's interview:

"[I] was just standing at Western Psych and this gentleman came in and just started opening fire," the woman, who did not want her name used, said.

"I believe first he hit the receptionist and then just started shooting. At that point, I hit the ground and the Pitt police drew their guns and was shooting back, so it just was pretty much chaos, but it was pretty much under control very quickly – as much control as it could be."

Update at 5:14 p.m. ET. Calm After The Shooting:

The Post Gazette says it took two hours for police to give an all clear. At that time, the Gazette says, "police and other authorities streamed in and out of the building's front entrance unhurried.

The paper adds:

"A couple of dozen staff were escorted out in a line, as well. Two armored vehicles remained parked near the entrance, while staff in nearby Crabtree Hall were told to remain away from windows.

"Several dozen people, including some middle and high school students attending a robotics competition stand on the second floor of the Petersen Events Center, some licking ice cream."

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. Building Secured:

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says the building has been secured and that the victims are being treated at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, which is across the street from the shooting.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talked to one woman who said when she returned from lunch, another woman yelled for her to stay out of the building:

"The woman said there was a shooter in the first floor lobby and that at least five people had been hit, including a Pitt police officer who was struck while walking in the front door.

"'A few seconds later and we would have been in the lobby,' she said, adding that she was grateful she and her friends had stalled their return to the hospital."

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