UTMC student shot during St. Louis robbery

10/25/2012
BLADE STAFF
Halley Briglia.
Halley Briglia.

ST. LOUIS--The man St. Louis police believe robbed and shot a University of Toledo medical student Wednesday morning was arrested today.

Arrested on charges of robbery and assault was Vincent Newman, 24, of St. Louis, police said.

The suspect is believed to have robbed and shot three people in the last 11 days, including Halley Briglia, a fourth-year student at UT who is in St. Louis for a clinical clerkship. The suspect has only been charged with one of the three incidents.

Additional charges are pending.

"We're confident this is the same perpetrator," said St. Louis police spokesman David Marzullo.

Mr. Marzullo said police were able to connect the suspect to the three shootings by comparing shell casings recovered at the three crime scenes.

The suspect is charged with an Oct. 16 robbery and shooting in which a 20-year-old woman was robbed of electronics and then shot in her left arm and left cheek.

A hospital spokesman at St. Louis University Hospital said they had no information about Ms. Briglia's condition, but earlier today was reported to be in critical but stable condition.

Vincent Newman
Vincent Newman

Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and vice president for biosciences and health affairs at the University of Toledo Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, flew to St. Louis Wednesday night to be with the woman and her family, he said.

The St. Louis Police Department could not be immediately reached, but a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch states that Ms. Briglia was shot at about 5:55 a.m. Wednesday in the 1600 block of South Spring Avenue, which is near Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center.

Ms. Briglia was walking to her car when she was approached by a man who robbed and then shot her, the newspaper reports. Police in St. Louis have linked the suspect, who has not been arrested, to two other robberies and shootings in the past 11 days.

“In all these cases, the victims cooperated and they were still shot,” St. Louis police Lt. Col. Lawrence O'Toole told the Post-Dispatch.

Dr. Gold said Ms. Briglia is on a ventilator and in an intensive care unit.

Details of the crime were not immediately available, but initial reports suggest that Ms. Briglia was shot in the hand, but the bullet then struck her in the neck.

Dr. Gold said he will return to Toledo tonight, and that an associate dean will fly to St. Louis to be with Ms. Briglia and her family for the weekend. Visits to St. Louis will continue in shifts as necessary, Dr. Gold said.

“This is a huge thing for us,” Dr. Gold said. “It's a senseless tragedy.”

Dr. Gold said a notice would be sent out today to students and faculty about the shooting.

Ms. Briglia, originally from Erie, Penn., is an honors student, Dr. Gold said. She earned an undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University before coming to the University of Toledo for medical school.

“She's just an incredibly bright, energetic young woman who has always been in a leadership position,” Dr. Gold said. “She's always at the top of her class. She's just an amazing young woman with a tremendously bright career ahead of her.”