Buffalo Hospital Shooting: Surgeon on the Run but Not in Canada

Police believe suspect has not crossed the border.

June 14, 2012, 4:07 AM

June 14, 2012— -- The former Army Special Forces surgeon who allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend to death at a Buffalo, N.Y. hospital has dodged a multi-agency manhunt apparently without crossing into Canada, authorities said today.

Dr. Timothy V. Jorden, 49, is wanted in connection to the death of his one-time lover, Jackie Wisniewski, 33, a nursing student who died Wednesday morning on the floor of the Erie County Medical Center.

Considered armed and dangerous, Jorden is the target of a hunt by local, state and federal authorities, including the U.S. Marshals and the FBI.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda initially said at a news conference today "we know for a fact he did not cross the border," but later added, "to the best of my knowledge."

The hospital was partially locked down and evacuated again today after a woman discovered a bomb threat scribbled on a first-floor restroom wall and a suspicious device that turned out to be an amateurish hoax.

Authorities issued an all-clear within an hour and employees returned to work.

Officials Wednesday took one Buffalo police officer into custody after he allegedly lifted money and a watch from the scene of the shooting.

The officer apparently lifted a gold Rolex watch and about $5,000 in cash when he responded to the shooting, police sources said.

Late Wednesday night, armed with a warrant and with ambulances at the ready, police used a robot to lead the way as they searched Jorden's Lakeview, N.Y., home. The home was in the jurisdiction of the Hamburg Police Department, although the Erie County Sheriff's Department provided the special robot. The law enforcement units and ambulances left the home after the search, ABC News station WKBW reported.

The fatal drama at the hospital began around 8 a.m., when Jorden allegedly shot and killed Wisniewski, a woman identified as his former lover, according to sources familiar with the investigation. She was found dead in a covered passageway joining the hospital's Kidney Center and another wing of the medical center, The Miller Building, WKBW reported.

Buffalo police, backed up by a New York State Police SWAT team, converged on the hospital and locked down the facility, treating the situation as an active shooter scenario. The lockdown was lifted at noon, but no news emerged as to the circumstances of Jorden, who was officially described as a person of interest.

"The ECMC Health Campus has reopened, except for the DK Miller Office Building which is closed at this time," the hospital said in a statement released at that time. "All employees scheduled to work today should report at their regularly scheduled time. ECMC is no longer on emergency room diversion and has resumed all regular operations."

Jorden had experienced emotional difficulties recently, according to officials, who did not elaborate.

A career soldier, Jorden graduated from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine in 1996.

"I've wanted to be a doctor since early in my military career as a medic," Jorden told the newspaper in a 1996 profile.

Police did not comment regarding the victim or a possible motive for the shooting.

Francisca Wellsbury, who was married to Jorden, but long divorced, told ABC News that she was shocked by the news that her ex-husband had become the suspect in a murder.

"We've lived separate lives for a long time," Wellsbury, who lives on the West Coast, told ABC News. "I'm just as shocked as anyone. It's traumatic."

She declined to go into further detail, but said: "This is not the person I knew. I wish he would seek help."

A decorated soldier, Jorden had a military career that spanned 18 years and two periods of service. During his years of service, he earned numerous medals and commendations including the Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Master Parachute Badge Scuba Diver Badge Special Forces Tab.

ABC News' Jennifer Wlach, Jack Date and Alyssa Newcomb contributed to this report.

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