KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A murder-suicide at KU Hospital was the result of a domestic dispute, KCK police say.
The incident first started at 7th and Osage in KCK where a man and a woman were shot in a car.
“I heard approximately at least 5 shots,” witness Vicente Jalindo said.
It was a sound that interrupted the otherwise quiet Monday night near 7th and Osage, causing Jalindo to check out what in the world was going on.
“And I was being a little suspicious. I walked outside myself,” Jalindo said. “And I did. I seen a car race down the street off 7th and Osage.”
Police say those shots fired at 11:30 p.m. Monday were the result of a domestic dispute. The man and woman then drove to the hospital. The suspect, who’s name has not been released yet, followed them.
With the suspect chasing after him, the man in the car, later identified as 28-year-old Dominic Garcia, ran into the front doors at the main entrance of the hospital, making it through the first set of doors. But the inside doors were locked, trapping him in the vestibule.
“I know, in my career, this is the first time I have ever heard of someone following that person to the hospital and finishing a job,” KCKPD Officer Thomas Tomasic said. “I mean, finishing what he was intending to do.”
What that suspect intended to do was kill Garcia, Tomasic said. With several more shots fired inside the front doors of KU Hospital, Garcia was critically injured. The suspect then took his own life, and Garcia later died from his injuries. The suspect was married to the female victim, who was wounded but is expected to be OK.
“I think that person knew exactly what they were going to do and who they were going after,” Tomasic said. “Maybe stray bullets may have been a problem, but it is very difficult. (If) you see people shooting, run, hide. It is kind of an in-the-moment situation.”
KCK police said none of the hospital’s patients or staff were in danger. Luckily, it was late, and there weren’t many people around.
The president of the Kansas City division of KU Hospital, Tammy Peterman, released the following statement:
“No one wants to receive this kind of news, but our combined hospital and University of Kansas Medical Center campus has worked hard together on safety protocols and drills to keep everyone as safe as possible.”
The doors of the hospital are locked at 8 p.m. each night, which protected the staff and patients inside.
Chris Rudder, the chief operating officer of the Kansas City division of KU Hospital added, “University of Kansas Police Department and our emergency preparedness teams have drilled for several years with hospital staff to prepare us for this moment … a moment you hope you never have to test. We are grateful for those drills and that KU police responded in less than a minute after the alert went out.”
That alert warning of an active shooter went out campus-wide to hospital employees, KU medical students, faculty and staff. It was quickly updated after police realized the suspect was dead and there was no longer a danger to the KU community.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story, based on information from KCK police, incorrectly identified the relationship between the shooter and two victims. FOX4 has corrected this story and apologizes for the error.