Hospital staff wait outside after they were evacuated from Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center, following reports of someone with a weapon in the factory in Downey, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials say a suspect is in custody and the deputies and officials of the police are methodically searching the complex. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
LOS ANGELES – An armed man hurled a chair through a window in a Southern California hospital was taken into custody and a gun was recovered Tuesday, but there is no evidence that he fired a shot, authorities said.
No one was injured in the incident at Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center near Los Angeles, Downey police chief Carl Charles said.
The suspect shattered the window for pulling a gun in a medical office building separate from the main hospital, Charles said. The man was unarmed when he surrendered without incident a short time later just outside the building. A gun was later found.
The man was described as a 34-year-old resident of nearby Lynwood, and there were unconfirmed reports that he is a patient in the hospital, Charles said. Some people said they heard up to seven shots, but police have not confirmed that the gun was fired, he said.
Witness Amber Boughner said the man was wroth, and demanded to be let in to a closed office kicking the walls and breaking the window. Boughner said that they do not see a weapon or gunshots heard.
“The guard told me that there was a gun, so I ran,” she told KABC-TV. Boughner said that she and others locked themselves in a break room for officers to let them out.
The police of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies cleared the building, room by room.
TV news helicopters showed people quietly walk of the establishment, and many police vehicles around.
Employee Edwin Olvera told The Associated Press his office was locked, and he had “to be honest, never be afraid.”
“I heard no shots. I heard that there is someone with a weapon at our office,” Olvera said.
Jim Branchick, a Kaiser area manager, said that the incident happened in a medical office building, not in the hospital itself.
Branchick said that he did not know how the man got the gun in the building.
The medical center is active-shooter drills, and the staff followed protocol to the “code silver” – signal for such an event was declared, he said. The people went to the rooms, closed the doors and followed police commands.
Downey is a city of about 110,000 people southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
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