On Thursday, March 8, 2012 at approximately 1:40pm a lone gunman walked into the lobby of Western Psych on OHara Street in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. The actor who armed with two semi-automatic handguns immediately opened fire on the receptionist and others in the area. Two University of Pittsburgh Police Officers were first to arrive on the scene. There was an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and the Officers. During the exchange of gunfire, the suspect was shot dead and the officer was wounded in the leg. In addition to the unidentified gunman, a nurse at Western Psych, Michael Schaab 25 years old of Edgewood died after being shot by the gunman. As of Friday morning, five of the victims remained hospitalized, most of them having to endure surgery at one point. The conditions of the victims range from "good" to "serious."
The initial responding University of Pittsburgh Police Officers saved many lives and minimized further threat as a result of their quick and heroic actions. It is their actions that permately stopped the deranged lunatic gunman from injuring or killing additional innocent victims. The Officer's excellent shot stopped the gunman in his tracks and prevented him from advancing throughout the facility, which housed over 300 patients and staff. In addition to the University of Pittsburgh Police, numerous other law enforcement agencies responded to the active shooter incident, including the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Sheriff, Allegheny County Police, Port Authority Police, FBI, Pittsburgh SWAT, Allegheny County SWAT, Pennsylvania State Police CIRT and SHCOG CIRT (if I forgot anyone I apologize).
City of Pittsburgh SWAT leader Steve Mescan (TAC71) did an outstanding job with SWAT command at this active shooter incident and subsequent crime scene. Mescan not only organized and deployed his team members, but team members from Allegheny County SWAT, PSP CIRT and SHCOG CIRT. SWAT/CIRT had to conduct a floor by floor, room by room search of the facility, as there were initial reports of a possible second gunman with possible hostages. Fortunately that report turned out to be unfounded. But still the SWAT/CIRT couldn't take any chances or rule anything out, hence the reason for the extensive search operation to assure the safety of not only the patients and staff of the facility, but the safety of all of the responding emergency personnel.
City of Pittsburgh EMS and any mutual aid EMS agencies should be commended as well for their quick response of caring for the wounded and getting them to the medical facility in a timely manner, to get them the best doctors, surgeons and medical staff to treat there ballistic injuries. And last but not least, the Allegheny County 9-1-1 telecommunicators/call-takers for processing the multiple calls relating to the incident and dispatching numerous officers, medics and agencies to a very active mass casualty incident.....Great job by all involved.