By the Associated Press
Police officers in Florida on Monday fatally shot an unarmed patient they say told hospital emergency room workers that he had a gun and that “it was going to end right here today.”
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said during a news conference that the man was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for a medical condition. After arriving at the hospital, Mina said the man told staff there he would “shoot anyone who came near him.” Police were called and the emergency room was placed on lock down.
Negotiators began communicating with the man, but Mina said officers decided to approach the man because some patients needed immediate treatment. The police chief said the man appeared to reach for a gun and officers shot him.
“All during the negotiations he was making movements consistent with having a firearm and becoming aggressive,” Mina said. “At some point, he made movements that were consistent with retrieving a firearm from his waistband.”
No one else was injured, Mina said.
The police chief said crisis negotiators tried to get the man to surrender peacefully.
“We did take in the fact that there were patients right near his room,” Mina said.
The man’s identity will be released once next-of-kin is notified. The officers involved in the shooting will be on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
Orlando Health tweeted that the emergency room was the only department affected by the lockdown. The rest of the hospital continued normal operations.
Police investigators said the emergency room would be allowed to reopen as they continued their investigation.
During the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, many of the shooting victims were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, which is just a few blocks away.