VANCOUVER, Wash. – A 45-year-old Veterans Affairs worker was shot and wounded Tuesday inside a public health building in southwest Washington state and a woman taken into custody was also injured, a sheriff’s spokesman said.
It was the second workplace shooting in Vancouver, Wash., in two days.
Tuesday’s shooting happened just before 4 p.m. at the Center for Community Health on the Department of Veterans Affairs campus, Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Fred Neiman said.
Both the wounded man and the 46-year-old woman in custody were taken to a hospital, Neiman said. He refused to discuss the extent or nature of her injuries. Neither the man nor the woman was identified.
Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp told KATU-TV that the woman was injured while security detained her.
A spokesman for the VA Medical Center in Portland, Ore., said the injured man is a VA employee of the regional Veterans Integrated Service Network, a network of medical centres, vet centres and outpatient clinics. Spokesman Daniel Herrigstad described the man’s injuries as “non-life-threatening.”
Neiman called the man’s injuries “significant.”
Detectives were not looking for any other suspects, Neiman said Tuesday evening.
“I am not aware of the motivation behind the shooting,” the spokesman said, adding his department’s investigation was just beginning. He declined to say how many shots were fired or what type of weapon was used.
“We heard about four shots and then a loud noise,” Denise Martino, who works in the building, told KGW-TV.
“On the first shot, I thought something fell down,” added employee Ryan Treglown.”It was pretty clear it was a gun by the time of the third or fourth one.”
Vancouver police, state troopers, Veterans Affairs police and sheriff’s officers all responded and helped clear people from the building, most of which was locked down as a crime scene Tuesday night, Neiman said.
The Center for Community Health houses a number of organizations.
Marc Lindsay, who works for Southwest Washington Behavioral Health, was heading from the second floor to the first when police arrived. He was on his way to the parking lot when he ran into officers.
“Cops flooded in,” he told The Columbian newspaper. “They blocked all the entrances.”
VA clinics and buildings on the Vancouver campus will be open Wednesday, Herrigstad said, although the Veterans Integrated Service Network offices, where the shooting occurred, will remain closed.
In another workplace shooting that happened Monday, a paint company driver fatally shot a company manager and then killed himself at a Vancouver business park.
Police found the manager, Ryan E. Momeny, 45, lying dead in front of the Benjamin Moore Paint distribution centre, authorities said. Robert R. Brown, 64, a company driver, was found inside a vehicle in the parking lot, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Vancouver police said.