September 16th, 2010
03:12 PM ET

Police say Johns Hopkins gunman killed self, mother


[Updated at 3:12 p.m.] The gunman in Thursday's Johns Hopkins shooting - identified as Warren Davis, 50 - shot himself and his mother, who was being treated at the hospital, Baltimore's police commissioner said.

Davis was standing outside room 873 in the Nelson building, where he was being briefed by a doctor about the condition of his mother, Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld said.

"Mr. Davis was receiving some news about the care and condition of his mother just outside the doorway to that room when he became emotionally distraught," the commissioner said.

During the conversation, Davis pulled a small, semiautomatic gun from his waistband and shot the doctor once in the lower chest/upper abdomen, he said.

Within minutes, a tactical team later entered the hospital and found Davis dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His mother had also been killed, Bealefeld said.

[Updated 2:33 p.m.] Baltimore police now say the incident at Johns Hopkins Hospital is a murder-suicide.

The gunman, who shot a doctor in the abdomen, killed himself as well as someone else. It was unclear who else was killed, but sources say the wounded doctor is expected to recover.

Some media outlets, including The Baltimore Sun, are saying that the gunman shot his mother, who was being treated at the hospital.

[Updated 2:23 p.m.] There are now conflicting reports on how the shooter at Johns Hopkins Hospital died.

Some media outlets are reporting the gunmen shot himself, but CNN has not been able to confirm the reports. Police earlier told CNN that police shot the gunman.

[Updated 2:04 p.m.] Minutes after police announced the shooter at Johns Hopkins Hospital was killed by a tactical team, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, "The situation is resolved."

SWAT team members leaving the scene told CNN the same.

The situation has now moved from a tactical operation to a crime scene, Guglielmi said.

[Updated at 1:56 p.m.] Employees at the scene of the hospital shooting tell CNN affiliate WBAL that the shooter was unhappy with how his mother was being treated and that the wounded doctor was shot during surgery.

A reporter for The Baltimore Sun told CNN earlier that he had heard similar information from his sources.

One employee, Cynell Robertson, told WBAL that the moments after the doctor was shot were frightening.

"My boss came running in to tell me to stay put where I'm at, there's a guy running around with a gun and we didn't know what he's going to do,"she told WBAL.

Police have said the shooter was killed by police, but no further information was immediately available.

[Updated at 1:51 p.m.] Police say the suspect in the Johns Hopkins Hospital shooting is dead. He was shot by police, authorities said.

[Updated at 1:40 p.m.] Baltimore police say the situation at Johns Hopkins Hospital is contained, but "we're still trying to gain control of the suspect."

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi described the suspect only as an African-American male in his 30s. He further said police have heard reports the shooter is in a room, barricaded with a family member.

Guglielmi refrained from providing information on the shooter's location because there are televisions throughout the hospital.

He said there was no risk to the general public or patients and that the FBI is on standby. He wouldn't discuss whether police were in contact with the shooter.

As for the injured doctor, Guglielmi said he suffered abdominal injuries.

"He's in surgery as we speak, but he is going to be OK," he said.

[Updated at 1:14 p.m.] Criminal profiler Pat Brown tells CNN she believes the incident at Johns Hopkins could end "better than most situations" because the shooter does not appear to be a mass murderer.

The shooter may even realize he's made a huge mistake, and he might be scared because he knows he's trapped, Brown said.

A hospital employee, who said she left the hospital shortly before noon, told CNN affiliate WBAL that her shift isn't over for several hours. She has not been told to go home and she has not been able to return to work, she said.

"I really am scared," she told the station.

[Updated at 1:03 p.m.] A statement from Johns Hopkins Hospital says the doctor who was shot is a "faculty physician" and that confidentiality policies prohibit the hospital from releasing more information.

[Updated at 12:42 p.m.] Police say they know where the Johns Hopkins suspect is and have him cornered.

However, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, there is no information on whether the shooter has hostages.

Guglielmi said tactical units are on the scene, but the emergency room remains open and the incident is contained to one floor.

He further said he has learned that the doctor's condition has been upgraded, and his injuries now do not appear life-threatening.

Justin Fenton, a crime reporter for The Baltimore Sun who is across the street from the hospital, said a source tells him the shooter is upset about his mother, who is being treated at Johns Hopkins.

[Updated at 12:35 p.m.] Baltimore police say a SWAT team is on the scene as they attempt to apprehend the shooter.

[Updated at 12:29 p.m.] Baltimore police say earlier reports that a suspect was in custody in the shooting at Johns Hopkins Hospital were incorrect.

Baltimore Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said authorities also have no information on a motive or the relationship between the suspect and a doctor who was critically wounded.

[Updated at 12:25 p.m.] A shooter who critically injured a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital in east Baltimore, Maryland, has been "subdued and disarmed," according to a hospital spokesman.

Police reported that a doctor had been shot, and Johns Hopkins spokesman Gary Stephenson said the injured doctor had been taken to an operating room.

Earlier, local media said the suspect was hiding in a patient's room on the eighth floor of the hospital. CNN affiliate WMAR in Baltimore said the shooter had barricaded himself. It's unclear if the shooter was alone in the room.

Reports indicate the wounded doctor is in critical condition. Many people were evacuated, according to reports. Those who weren't evacuated were told via e-mail to stay in rooms at the hospital, which has about 1,000 beds. The e-mail further instructed them to keep room doors locked and to stay away from windows.

The hospital released a statement saying it had temporarily restricted access to the hospital's main buildings.

"Baltimore police and Johns Hopkins security officers are on the scene and have asked employees, visitors, patients and caregivers to stay in rooms or offices, with doors locked where possible, until further notice," the statement said.

A witness told WMAR that the shooting happened in the hospital's Nelson Building, which is near the emergency room entrance.

Local media reports indicate the shooting occurred between 11 and 11:30 a.m.

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Filed under: Crime • Maryland
soundoff (501 Responses)
  1. Dt

    @ jo stupid ass. naw it aint bush fault but 4300 in iraq is

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Patrick Robinson

    That's why I carry even at the hospital! Better to ask for forgiveness after the fact (carrying in a hospital is illegal) than to be caught like this at work!

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Agreed. I've done the same in some areas, as those hospitals were NOT in the best of neighborhoods.
      I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MarciaMarcia

    If the headline said "There wasn't a shooting in Baltimore" then it would be news.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • 10porkchops

      Too true.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nurse

    I am appalled by these comments. This isn't a funny joke. I myself work in a hospital and I can't express my disappointment in this situation. Who cares if the hospital is in Baltimore or elsewhere.. it doesn't matter! This physician went to work and was shot and is now "critically injured." This could have been anyone, anywhere. This could have been your loved one.
    Show some respect.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • 10porkchops

      If people knew the person. Then they would show respect, maybe – if they happened to like the person. This little forum comment thing is where we all can let off steam, vent and have assinine debates on the matter at hand that matter not at all. It's where we says to ourselves "thank goodness that wasn't me or I'm not there...." Lighten up. If the comments bother you so much then stop reading them.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      I'm with you! Anybody know who the doctor is?

      September 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Don sooner do I post about your lousy proof reading then you go back and fix the headline....the CNN proofreaders apparently didnt have their coffee this morning....

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • matttoo

      Get a life Don.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      Ah come on... Don has a life! It's just a pathetic one.

      September 16, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Fake Doctor

    This is why I moved from Baltimore... very anti-gun place, unless you're a criminal of course. High crime rate because gun-free zone = criminal happy zone. If the Doc was packin heat at least he would've evened the odds a little.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM

      I live in Baltimore now and you're an idiot. You just advocated that a doctor and a gunman have a shooting war in a hospital. Are you on drugs? What is wrog with your brain? Baltimore is only dangerous if you're and idiot ad do stupid things, crazy people like this shooter exist everywhere. Can't stop crazy...

      September 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM


      September 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fake Doctor

      Shooting war? LOL you're clearly some idiot liberal with his head up his ass that knows NOTHING about guns. Gun "battles" last about 10 seconds if that. I am not saying he would have WON or come out any better.

      However, if that place wasn't a GUN – FREE ZONE I guarantee you the gun-man thinks twice before trying some crap like this. Why do you think places like DC and Chicago with GUN BANS ahve the HIGHEST GUN CRIME RATE?!?! Because criminals knows only LAW ABIDING CITIZENS OBEY THOSE LAWS. Does that spell it out for you enough? Your'e ignorant, it's so sad you're able to spread your wrong thoughts on this website.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Or maybe, just maybe, the places that have gun bans do so because their crime rate was so high in the first place. Correlation does not equal causation. Have you ever thought about that?

      If you think that "criminals" think about the probability that someone has a gun, you are quite wrong. If anything, it would be more incentive to pull the trigger quicker. More guns aren't the answer to gun crimes.

      September 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Hey Fake Doctor –

      I assume that since you're so interested in gun crime statistics that you've looked at the rates of violent gun crime in countries that have gun bans versus the violent gun crime in the U.S. You have probably noticed that those countries suffer much less from this problem. I agree with you that localized gun control doesn't work, but federal gun control does.

      September 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • moo

      "You have probably noticed that those countries suffer much less from this problem. I agree with you that localized gun control doesn't work, but federal gun control does."

      And many of those countries also suffer from more violent crime in general. In fact, Britain was ranked the most violent nation not too long ago. Correlation is not cause, remember.

      'they don't think about the probability of something having one. In fact it'll give them more incentive to pull the trigger quicker.'

      You contradicted yourself in successive sentences. Good job.

      If they have an incentive to "pull the trigger" more quickly, then they've balanced the risks of their victims being able to fight back. But if that's true, it seems their victims *not* being defenseless would be a consideration of theirs before they ever left their homes. And if they commit the crime anyway, much less commit murder, it seems no amount of laws are going to stop them from doing so. And so any ban only takes guns away from the law abiding citizen, who follows the laws already.

      'Have you looked at how many people successfully defend themselves per year?'

      There are no concrete statistics because people don't report crimes that don't happen (that is, crimes that are successfully thwarted), but different studies peg the range of successful defenses from 60,000 per year to well over 2 million.

      Good to know you read up on the subject before commenting, though.

      September 16, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM

      Between 60,000 and 2 million? Really? There were 4.9 million violent crimes in America in 2009. You're telling me there could have been as many as 6.9 million were it not for guns and that wasn't reported at all? Come on. And 60,000? Ok, well how many more crimes would have been prevented were it more difficult for criminals to get guns at all?

      Good to know you cherry-picked your facts for this argument.

      September 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      The UK per capita violence figures are very similar to the U.S. except for one glaring difference – homicide. You're right – they're still a violent society, just as we are, but far, far fewer of their violent acts result in death. Guns are not the cause of someone's violent behavior, merely a tool.

      As for statistics about gun self-defense – they've been widely debunked as overblown. Steven Levitt at the University of Chicago examined the issue and found that when people are asked about it, they have a propensity to exaggerate, much like city residents might do when asked about who was present at a famed event (ultimately more people say were there than could have been possible). Same thing happens with gun self-defense stats, where more people will say they've done that than could be possible.

      September 16, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • moo

      JM: "Good to know you cherry-picked your facts for this argument."

      Not really. The range took the low end from the American Journal of Public Health and the high end from Kleck's own study.

      "You're telling me there could have been as many as 6.9 million were it not for guns and that wasn't reported at all? Come on."

      Yes ma'am. Statisticians, law enforcement, etc. are the ones who point to the "under-reporting" of "thwarted" crimes.

      "Ok, well how many more crimes would have been prevented were it more difficult for criminals to get guns at all?"

      Not really.

      Regardless of the laws, criminals will have and keep their firearms. The law usually only has an effect on law abiding citizens. Consequently, a ban of any sort will only affect those of us who voluntarily adhere to the law. By banning firearms you're doing more to take away the power of regular citizens to legally defend themselves, while doing nothing to stop criminals from breaking the laws anyway.

      Nice try, though.

      September 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • moo

      mike: "The UK per capita violence figures are very similar to the U.S. except for one glaring difference – homicide."

      True. And yet drawing an inference from these statistics is fallacious to the nth degree.

      You asked the original poster if he had compared "violent crime rates" against the countries that have and have not banned firearms. Britain, which has banned firearms almost totally, has the highest violent crime rate of the developed western world.

      Don't try to change the subject from violent crime qua violent crime to homicide simply.

      September 16, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hamster-Style

      One thing to look at is that many of the countries that have a nation-wide gun ban are also those with oppressive governments, not all, but many. Banning guns ensures criminals will be the only ones who have them... They do not obey the law, hence the label – CRIMINALS.

      "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" – Thomas Jefferson

      September 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Donald Jordan

    What is becoming of our society. You are not safe any place.we need stricker gun laws in this country. We use to be an open society now all work places need tighter security. I pray that the Dr is ok. Don Jordan

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fake Doctor

      you're an IDIOT. gun laws GUN LAWS ARE USELESS.


      Last time I checked CRIMINALS DONT OBEY LAWS YOU IDIOT. Imbeciles like you are the reason why the country is going down the drain into a facist state.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM

      @Fake Doctor No, you're an idiot. Do your homework, moron – look at crime rates in countries with no guns vs. our country. More guns = more availability = more gun crime. People like you are the reason American are known for shooting each other up – get a clue or shut your mouth.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Nice, so you'd disarm the law abiding citizens and leave us at the criminals mercy. How very kind of you!
      Ask New Jersey with their harsh anti-gun climate and New York City with their ineffective ban on handguns how well it's working out for them, where school children of the wealthy wear kevlar vests under their jackets.
      Yep, REAL smart!

      September 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM

      School children wearing Kevlar doesn't persuade me – when is the last time you hear about a criminal shooting up a school, vests or not? I'm not talking about kids shooting kids – although that seems like a valid reason to ban guns to me. I mean a criminal – you know, the people you purport are in possession of all of the guns, doing all of the shooting of innocents? Now when is the last time somebody was accidentally killed by a gun? Or better yet, let's do a little exercise.

      How many people per year successfully defend themselves with a gun and prevent themselves from coming under harm vs. how many people are accidentally killed every year, especially children, by guns?

      Hmm...for all your "common sense" reasoning, you're still an idiot.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fake Doctor


      I see your'e back you idiot? Look at he UK. SUPER HIGH GUN CRIME. Stop spreading your BS. Your'e clearly some hippie uneducated liberal that repeats whatever your idiot friends say about guns. What a sad person you are. UK gun crime SKY ROCKETED when the gun ban was imposed there.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      Unfortunately stricter gun laws probably would not have ptrevented this bercause I'm pretty sure the shooter didn't get the gun legally.

      September 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      Sorry "because".

      September 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM

      @Fake Doctor

      Tell me, if you're so smart and I'm so uneducated – where does England fall on that list?

      Go ahead.

      Come on...where are they? Now compare that to the U.S.

      Aw, don't cry cause you're stupid – one day that might change...maybe...

      September 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      JM, by your reasoning, we should ban motor vehicles too. Look at the accidental AND intentional death rates associated with cars, small trucks and SUV's.
      The death rate is MUCH higher than for gun related deaths. So, should we ban motor vehicles?

      September 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Violent crme and homicide in New York are almost 1/3 the rate they were 20 years ago.

      September 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Motor vehicles are necessary. Guns are not. I would be in favor of more public transportation which would alleviate both traffic and fatalities.

      It's not that hard to figure out. The black market for guns is fueled by legitimate gun purchases that are sold/stolen for use on the black market. The more guns we put into the legit market, the more that end up on the black market and sold on the Internet/gun shows. I would be satisfied, as should everbody, with a serious discussion of closing the black market loop holes. But that never happens because it's political poison thanks to the $$ of the NRA.

      September 16, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • guyanesejew

      FakeDoctor – why do zealous gun nuts like yourself make it so easy to pigeonhole you as the violent, unstable lunatics that you are?

      There is no way to rationally or intelligently argue against strict gun control. The benefits are too manifest.

      Look, firearms are made to kill, point blank. We do not NEED them.

      America is going down the drain because fearful right-wing gun nut religious zealots want to live like we were in the frontier era – get with the program neanderthals. Read a book, get an education, turn off FOX News ...

      September 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheppard

      fakedoc can't do any homework – I'm convinced he can't read.... just another gun-loving, no matter what moron. Who cares about facts? Obviously not fakedoc.

      September 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mj

    How do you know he's black?? Typically its your kind that shoots people up in the workplace.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      Unless you work at a beer dispensary....

      September 16, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Couldn't agree with you more, MJ!

      September 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • s from afton

      You know he's black because the media hasn't said his race yet. Plus, it sounds like something a black person would do, i.e., bite the hand that feeds it. Plus it was someone in Baltimore. And the last several times there have been major shootings, like at the beer distributor, it was a black person or some other minority, even though every one wanted it to be white. Just the facts, since you asked. . .

      September 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    Getting shot sucks, but on the bright side, the doctor got shot in one of the best hospitals in the world. Best wishes.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. markglicken

    Actually way back on Chicago Hope, A guy forced Dr. Geiger to do a transplant at gunpoint. Don't recall anyone getting shot though.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nick

    I am so disheartened by the comments here. My prayers are with those affected! Television should be a reflection of life... not the other way around. Have we become this desensitized and shallow?

    September 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I agree

      September 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharon in az

      apparently, yes. i find it interesting that the commentary over on fox is of an entirely different character.

      September 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jbentley

    Why the hack does the guy have to be black to shoot a doctor? This is not john Q.
    and i,m willing to bet it could even be a crazy teen or maybe a homeless with ptsd.....who knows?

    September 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GoMama

    Crazy people are everywhere, but not all people get to be severely injured at one of the most capable hospitals in the US.
    Weird how they say that initially reports were that a doctor was shot but that the spokesman said that "only an employee was taken into surgery" and then the article refered to that 'employee' as a doctor, thereafter, ignoring the spokesman's generalizing.
    The media has such great respect for spokespeople. I hope everyone lives because- we have got to find out what was going through this guy's head shooting up a hospital.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tony Montana

    Why is it that these blogs attract all the insensitive, angry types? I'd be happy if mine was the last comment and news sites just go to reporting and not this public comment garbage.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alisha

    This could happen at any hospital, any city; can't be blamed on the fact that it's in Baltimore. Besides, Johns Hopkins is repeatedly one of the top hospital in the nation.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
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