Pittsburgh Police Identify Hospital Gunman, Trying to Determine Motive

PHOTO: This apartment building at 3955 Bigelow Blvd., shown on Friday, March 9, 2012, in Pittsburghs Oakland neighborhood, is the address the Pittsburgh Police say John Shick lived.
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Pittsburgh police released the identity of the suspected gunman in a shooting that left two dead, including the shooter, and injured seven others at in the psychiatric clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki named John Shick, 30, of Pittsburgh, as the suspected gunman Friday, according to ABC affiliate WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. Stangrecki said they have not yet been able to determine a motive.

Pittsburgh police have released the identity of the suspected gunman in a shooting that left two people dead, including their suspect, and injured seven others in the psychiatric clinic of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

John Shick, 30, of Pittsburgh, was identified as the shooter by Police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki Friday, according to ABC affiliate WTAE, but police have yet to determine a motive in the case. They do not know if Shick had a history of criminal or mental health problems.

"We're looking at his background," Stangrecki said. "Who was he targeting? Why did he target that facility? At this point, there's no indication he had any communication with anyone."

Police say the shooter walked in the front entrance of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, located in the Oakland neighborhood, around 1:40 p.m. Thursday, armed with two semi-automatic handguns and wearing a tan colored trench coat. Evidence shows the shooter may have then tried to exit the facility unsuccessfully after entering a stairwell that lead to the parking garage.

"It appears the subject may have tried to exit one of the doors, but did not have a pass card to get out. We did find evidence that someone shot into one of the window panels, but it did not shatter the window," Stangrecki said.

Stangrecki said as the shooter returned to the first floor, he was met by University of Pittsburgh police officers entering the front doors. He engaged the officers in gunfire, and was shot by police.

"There were rounds coming through the door as they were coming in," University of Pittsburgh Police Chief Tim Delaney told WTAE. "He was shooting at them coming through the door. You've got to stop the shooter. Nobody, wants to do it, but that's what has to be done."

Reports of a second shooter prompted SWAT team members to enter the building and search each floor. They helped to evacuate, but no second shooter was found, and police say those initial reports were incorrect.

Police recovered both handguns and traced them back to Texas. One of the guns had been reported as stolen, and Pittsburgh police are working with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to track down the original owners. Stangrecki said a box of ammunition was also recovered.

Michael Schaab, 25, also of Pittsburgh and an employee of UPMC, was killed in the shooting. Schaab's mother, Mary, said he worked in the geriatric unit and had recently been engaged, according to the Associated Press.

"I have letters from patients' families that just raved about him, about how good he was to their spouses or mother or father," Mary Schaab said. "He was the best person in the world."

A University of Pittsburgh police officer was among the seven other injured Thursday. The officer was grazed in the knee by a bullet.

All seven were taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for treatment, which is located just across the street from the psychiatric clinic. Two people are reported to be in critical, but stable condition, and three more needed surgery. The two other victims were discharged after treatment. All were expected to survive and recover.

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