Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Hospital adds security after parking lot gunfire places facility on lockdown

ST. LOUIS, MO - On Thursday night, shots were fired in the parking lot of  SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, creating a scare for patients and staff and placing the medical facility on lockdown. An exclusive interview takes FOX 2 and News 11 inside the hospital during the frightful incident.

Rickashia Shelton was here with her 14 year old son for a regular check-up.  They were on their way out, just about to go out the hospital door and to their car.

“We hear people screaming, so we`re ducking, running again, went through some doors, we ended up in ER department in one of their rooms,” recalled Shelton. “They closed the doors, closed us in, said it was on `lockdown.`”

About 45 minutes later she walked to her car, wondering why the area where she parked was surrounded by police and crime tape.  Of the more than 20 shots reported, at least nine hit her car.  Police say six cars total were hit.

St. Louis Police say four unknown suspects opened fire on at least two unknown victims walking through the parking lot just before 7 o`clock.  The hospital did go on lock-down.  Evening surgeries were put on hold.  Staff, patients, and visitors, were told to 'shelter in place' for fear of an 'active shooter' situation inside the hospital, even though that that did not happen.

Damon Harbison, SSM Cardinal Glennon’s Chief Operating Officer, says, “We train for this.  We do exercises. We do simulations, whether it`s a tornado coming through or an active shooter.  Thank God no one was hurt.  Everybody got right into action.”

“It seems like, whoever the guys were shooting at, the person was ducking for cover by my car,” says Shelton. “I’m just grateful that I wasn`t in the car, me or my son, because I wouldn`t be doing this interview.”

Harbinson says they have already increased security patrols in the parking lot of the hospital and have also added a security officer for all shifts.