ST. LOUIS — A University of Toledo medical student was robbed and then critically injured when she was shot while walking to her car in St. Louis, where she has a clinical internship.
Halley Briglia, 27, a fourth-year student on rotation at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis, was being treated for the wound at St. Louis University Hospital, where she was taken after being shot at 5:55 a.m. Wednesday.
A hospital spokesman had no information about a patient by that name, but Thursday morning Ms. Briglia’s condition was described as critical but stable.
Dr. Jeffrey Gold, chancellor and vice president for biosciences and health affairs at the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio, flew to St. Louis on Wednesday night to be with the woman and her family.
He said Ms. Briglia was on a ventilator in an intensive care unit.
“My children are roughly the same age — I have a daughter who is a medical student in another part of the country — and I see these students like I see my own children and it’s very painful,” Dr. Gold said.
Ms. Briglia was shot on South Spring Street Avenue as she walked to her car, on her way to work, by a man who robbed her.
St. Louis Police spokesman David Marzullo could not confirm the victim’s name, but he said the robbery and shooting are connected to two others in the same neighborhood in 12 days.
The suspect reportedly grabbed Ms. Briglia’s purse and then shot her, police said.
On Thursday, St. Louis police arrested Vincent Newman, 24, of St. Louis as a suspect in one of the three robberies and shootings, Mr. Marzullo said. Mr. Newman has not been charged with robbing and shooting Ms. Briglia, but police are “confident this is the same perpetrator,” Mr. Marzullo said.
“The shell casings we recovered from the [incident Wednesday] and on the 14th and 16th were the same; that’s how we knew it was the same suspect,” Mr. Marzullo said.
The suspect has been charged with robbery and assault in an Oct. 16 incident in which a 20-year-old woman was robbed of electronics and then shot in the left arm and left cheek.
Dr. Gold returned to Toledo on Thursday night and said 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 it was important for him to go to St. Louis to show support for the family, but to also be there to help sort through medical information.
“When you’re in the hospital, it’s very difficult to hear every word and very difficult to hear what all the words mean because they’re so focused on other things,” Dr. Gold said.
Ms. Briglia, originally from Erie, Pa., is an honors student who planned a career in neurology, Dr. Gold said. She earned an undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University before coming to the University of Toledo for medical school.
She has been involved in a number of on-campus groups and activities, including serving as president of the pathology club, UT spokesman Jon Strunk said.
Dr. Gold said that, once Ms. Briglia’s condition has stabilized, he would like for her to be transferred to Toledo for continued treatment.
“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.”
Dr. Gold’s hotel accommodation and transportation in St. Louis was paid for by Washington University, Mr. Strunk said. Dr. Gold had previously purchased a plane ticket to New York — with personal finances. That flight was changed for a ticket to St. Louis; the flight-change fee was paid for by the University of Toledo, Mr. Strunk said.