Gunman in St. Vincent’s Hospital dead; Officer Shot - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Dead Gunman in St. Vincent’s Hospital identified; Officer, two others shot (Update)

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Birmingham Police outside St. Vincent's Hospital following a shooting the left one dead and three wounded Saturday morning, December 15, 2012.(abc3340.com) Birmingham Police outside St. Vincent's Hospital following a shooting the left one dead and three wounded Saturday morning, December 15, 2012.(abc3340.com)
Birmingham Police outside St. Vincent's Hospital following a shooting the left one dead and three wounded Saturday morning, December 15, 2012.(abc3340.com) Birmingham Police outside St. Vincent's Hospital following a shooting the left one dead and three wounded Saturday morning, December 15, 2012.(abc3340.com)
Birmingham Police outside St. Vincent's Hospital following a shooting the left one dead and three wounded Saturday morning, December 15, 2012.(abc3340.com) Birmingham Police outside St. Vincent's Hospital following a shooting the left one dead and three wounded Saturday morning, December 15, 2012.(abc3340.com)

A gunman is dead after being shot by a Birmingham police officer.

The shooting happened early Saturday morning at St. Vincent's Hospital.

Birmingham police spokesperson Sgt. Johnny Williams says officers responded to reports of a gunman in the hospital just after 4 a.m. Officers saw the gunman in a hallway and exchanged gunfire. The gunman died inside the hospital.

An officer and two other people were hurt. Their injuries are described as non-life threatening. The Birmingham police officer is being treated at UAB Hospital.

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Update #1

St. Vincent's Hospital issued a statement Saturday morning regarding the fatal shooting of a gunman on the fifth floor, which is home to the Cardiovascular Care Center.

A spokesperson with St. Vincent's provided this media release to ABC 33/40:

-We had an isolated security incident this morning on the St. Vincent's Birmingham campus.

-The situation is under control, and the hospital is stable and secure.

-There is no interruption to our services.

-Our staff and the Birmingham Police Department responded to the incident in a timely and appropriate manner.

-The safety of our patients and staff continues to remain our top priority.
-We've already taken all of the necessary precautions to ensure additional safety measures on our campus at this time.

-We would ask you to join us in remembering all those affected in your thoughts and prayers.

Update #2

The Birmingham Police Department has identified the man who shot three people at St. Vincent's Hospital Saturday morning.

Jason Letts, 38, of Jemison, Ala., was pronounced deceased inside the hospital after opening fire in a hallway on the fifth floor. Letts wounded three people, including a police officer before being shot and killed. All three are expected to make full recoveries.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper states, "In light of the recent mass shooting in Connecticut, too many of these incidents end with unimaginable tragedy. I am amazed at the bravery of our officers as they confronted this armed gunman in the hallway. I have absolutely no doubt that their courageous actions at that exact moment saved many lives. All of Birmingham should be proud and appreciative that these are the type of officers that protect our communities every day. The hospital staff and especially the security team should also be commended because they performed with selfless service which contained the incident until the officers' arrival.

"The results of this incident could have been much worse. However; due to several professionals from different walks of life putting the well-being of the patients and staff before themselves we suffered no additional loss of life."

Statement by Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell in Response to Shooting:

"Unfortunately, just one day after the mass shooting in Connecticut, the City of Birmingham, Alabama experienced its own violent act at St. Vincent's Hospital.  My thoughts and prayers are with the wounded officer, employees and patients that may have been affected.   I applaud the Birmingham Police Department, its officers and the hospital's security personnel for their courageous efforts to take down the suspect and prevent a catastrophic event.  Too many of these tragic events are happening across this country and I look forward to doing all that I can to prevent them from happening again," said Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07).

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