DAYTON — A Veterans Affairs hospital employee and a retired worker were struggling over a gun in a break room today 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.
Moore and the victim, identified by police as Paul Burnside, 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.
Moore’s sister-in-law, Stephanie Brooks, told reporters outside the family’s home in the Dayton suburb of Trotwoood that they were devastated. “We’re all confused and we’re trying to find out what has happened,” she said.
Myshalee Williams, a neighbor, said Moore was always kind and soft-spoken. “He is always so friendly and he really is a good family man. He loves his children and his grandchildren,” she said.
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.
James Woods, of Dayton, was at the hospital for dialysis and inside an adjacent building when he heard over loudspeaker there was a lockdown. He didn’t know what was going on initially, but soon found out soon that there had been shooting and a suspect had been caught.
The hospital complex 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.