BUFFALO, N.Y. — Police searched for a trauma surgeon Wednesday as a "person of interest" in a fatal shooting at a Buffalo hospital, and warned the public that the former Army Special Forces weapons expert may be armed and dangerous.
The early morning shooting of a 33-year-old woman locked down the Erie County Medical Center complex for more than four hours. The woman was shot four times just after 8 a.m. while in the stairwell of a hospital building.
A person familiar with the investigation said Jacqueline Wisniewski, a receptionist at the hospital and the mother of a young son, was killed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.
Police later blocked a road leading to Dr. Timothy Jorden's home in an isolated area of private Lake View residences near the Lake Erie shore. SWAT team members in camouflage arrived in unmarked SUVs. A helicopter flew over the house before leaving.
Jorden, 49, also a former Army Special Forces medic, became licensed to practice medicine in New York in 2002 and held privileges to treat patients at the medical center and other major hospitals in the area. He apparently has no criminal background and no legal actions have been filed against his license.
According to a 1996 profile in The Buffalo News, Jorden is a native of Buffalo.
Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said the morning shooting wasn't a random act. After the shooting inside a building adjacent to the hospital's main building, police searched inside for the shooter for more than four hours. A SWAT team was called in.
The search ended by the afternoon, but police were still collecting evidence at the hospital.
The shooting prompted a lockdown of the medical center's 65-acre campus that was lifted at around noon for all buildings except the one being searched by police. Incoming patients were diverted to another hospital during the lockdown.
Police haven't released any information on the victim, other than her age. They said she was shot shortly after 8 a.m. inside the building that houses outpatient services and offices.
A police helicopter circled over the medical center's campus, which includes a 550-bed hospital. Officials said as many as 400 patients and about half of the hospital's 2,000 employees were on the grounds at the time of the shooting.
"It's a very sad day for ECMC and our community," said Jody Lomeo, the medical center's chief executive officer. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim."
Nikita Patel, a 25-year-old University at Buffalo medical student from Los Angeles, said she arrived at the hospital about 9 a.m. for a class and was kept from entering. She texted fellow students inside the hospital to find out what was happening.
"They said they're locked in and can't get out of the hospital and I can't go in," Patel said.
Jorden has a medical degree from the University at Buffalo and trained at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash. He received his certification from the American Board of Surgery in 2004.
The News reported that Jorden joined the National Guard in high school, went into the Army after graduation and served with the Army's Special Forces, first as a weapons expert, then as a medic. In those roles, he served in the Caribbean, Japan and Korea.
Jorden is certified in advanced-trauma life support and has received numerous awards recognizing his relationships with patients, his teaching skills and his involvement in the community, the newspaper said.
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Copyright 2012 Associated Press