Gunfire erupted Wednesday in a public waiting area at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. Witnesses say an argument preceded shots being fired.
"All you heard was a ruckus. Heard the argument. Heard the little commotion. Next thing you heard was a pop, pop, pop, and the next thing you know, you see all these kids and everyone running back to where the doctors are," said one witness.
No one was hit directly, but two people were injured. A male nurse was hit in the shoulder and a male security guard was hit in the leg by ricocheting bullets. Their wounds were described as superficial.
"There was a lone gunman that had a concealed weapon that apparently carried over an argument that occurred previously during the day and was in our waiting area," said Errol Schneer of Bronx-Lebanon.
According to witnesses, one man who’s now in police custody was not the gunman but was allegedly involved in a fight that led to the shooting.
Witnesses tell NY1 that he got a gash under his eye during an earlier altercation. Then the gunman came to the hospital looking for him.
"The guy had a fight earlier today. That was the whole thing. He had an altercation earlier today. That's why he was in to get stitches. So whoever he had a fight with or knew about the fight must have come back in here to retaliate," said a witness.
People who saw what happened were shaken that something like this could happen at a hospital.
"How can someone be so dangerous and not thoughtful to hurt someone in a hospital? Because this is a place where you come to get cured. You don't come here to get hurt," said one witness.
"Security is an ongoing concern. We've never had a situation like this. We take pride in the safe environment the hospital has maintained for the community," said Schneer.
Hospital officials say the emergency room sees 130,000 visitors per year and nothing like this has ever happened. There are no metal detectors or screenings, but NY1 was told such measures will now be considered.