A 24-year-old employee of the University of Maryland School of Medicine is in critical but stable condition after he was shot outside the university’s downtown Baltimore hospital Monday morning, police and hospital officials said.
The shooting at the University of Maryland Medical Center roiled Baltimore’s medical community, a tight-knit group in which some doctors already have called for measures to abate gun violence in Baltimore and beyond.
“I’ve done way too many of these things with you guys,” Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, head of the hospital’s R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, told reporters at a news conference Monday morning. “This one is as close to home as it has ever been.”
The victim, who police have not identified, was just east of an ambulance bay, in the 600 block of W. Redwood Street, when he was shot in the face and buttocks at about 7 a.m., police said. University of Maryland police apprehended a suspect, a 26-year-old man, with a loaded handgun about two blocks north of the hospital shortly after the shooting, according to the Baltimore Police Department.
Police believe the victim knew the alleged shooter, spokesman Matt Jablow said, though the nature of their relationship was unclear.
Late Monday afternoon, police identified the suspect as Jamar Haughton, 26, of the 900 block of Lemmon St. Haughton, who was being held at the Central Booking and Intake Facility in Baltimore as of Monday afternoon, is charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and several firearm related charges, police said.
Haughton did not have an attorney listed in online court records as of Monday evening, and could not be reached for comment.
Scalea said doctors were treating the victim, who was on life support. He said he was hopeful the victim would recover.
The hospital was placed on lockdown after the shooting, but, after police scanned the area, the facility soon resumed normal operations.
“At no time were we out of business,” Scalea said. “We remained open and ready to take care of anyone else.”
The shooting was an “isolated event,” Baltimore Police Lt. Col. Kevin Jones said at a news conference. “At no time was the general public at risk.”
Jones said there was no indication the shooting was related to any others in the area.
Monday’s shooting followed a June incident inside a behavioral health clinic on the University of Maryland Medical Center campus, where Baltimore police shot and tased a 27-year-old man who they said charged at them with a chair and a knife.
Also, in October 2017, a woman was arrested and charged in the fatal stabbing of her husband, Christopher Yancey Sr., 33, inside a room at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where their son was receiving treatment. The woman, Anita Nicole Jones, 31, is scheduled to stand trial in the case in May, according to court records.
The latest shooting reverberated around Baltimore’s medical community, including at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where a doctor was shot in 2010 and survived with aid from his colleagues. Paul Warren Pardus, 50, shot and killed his 84-year-old mother, wounded her physician and then fatally shot himself because he believed her doctor failed her.
Dr. Joseph Sakran, a Hopkins trauma surgeon, didn’t know that doctor, David B. Cohen. But he said it all feels personal, as Sakran was also a victim of gun violence while in high school and in November launched the viral Twitter campaign @ThisIsOurLane after a tweet from the National Rifle Association told doctors to “stay in their lane” when it came to gun control.
He said medical staff in Baltimore’s four trauma hospitals repeatedly see the devastation from gunshot wounds — which state data show grew to about two a day who needed emergency care in 2015 after a spike in violence following the death of Freddie Gray.
Baltimore has seen more than 300 homicides annually for the last four years, the majority of which are due to fatal shootings.
Shootings are a small but growing percentage of emergency visits, which are dropping overall in Maryland. The wounds, however, have become far more devastating from larger caliber guns. Hospitals have taken steps to address distress and fatigue in staff, such as adding meditation sessions and discussion groups.
When the victim is a colleague, or from the medical community, it’s still shocking, said Sakran, who recommended those affected seek care if they need it and also discuss the shooting with others to alleviate their emotional load.
“It’s one of those things that makes you realize that we’re all susceptible to being a victim of gun violence,” he said. “We’re all human. I don’t think anyone can deny when it’s someone you know or is close to you, emotions are high.”
He said he heard about the efforts to care for Cohen at Hopkins and is sure that the staff at Maryland acted in a similar professional way to provide treatment to their colleague.
“When we are needed we go into a mode where we’re making one life-saving decision after another,” he said.
What he wants now is to stem “preventable deaths” from gun violence. He had been preparing for congressional testimony on the topic of gun research and violence when he heard about the University of Maryland Medical Center shooting. It makes him more determined, he said.