DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A Veterans Affairs hospital employee and a retired worker were struggling over a gun in an employee break room Monday when the firearm went off, leading to the employee’s shooting and the retiree’s arrest, police said.
The victim, a 61-year-old man, was shot once in the ankle, said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl. The suspect, Neil Moore, 59, was taken into custody after seeking psychiatric treatment at a different hospital a few miles away, Biehl said.
“Somehow he was able to get from here to there,” the chief said.
The suspect and victim apparently knew each other, but it was too soon to determine what led to the shooting, Biehl said. Authorities said there were three witnesses to the shooting.
Moore worked in housekeeping before retiring, said Glenn Costie, chief executive of the hospital. He did not have any other details about Moore’s employment history.
The FBI said a revolver was found inside the suspect’s vehicle. A woman who answered the phone at Moore’s house in suburban Dayton said the family had no comment and wouldn’t give her name.
The shooting, during the lunch hour in the basement of the hospital’s main building in the service and operations area, caused a lockdown at the hospital as FBI agents searched the complex. Authorities also blocked roads leading to the hospital complex.
The clinic said scheduled appointments were on hold, citing “a current developing situation.”
The center has beds for about 450 people and provides veterans with medical, mental health and nursing home care.
Four years ago, an Iraq War Army veteran wearing military fatigues shot himself to death at a monument to soldiers outside the same hospital. The man, Jesse C. Huff, had been a patient there. He had been wounded by an explosive device in Iraq.