MEDICAL DISTRICT — No one was injured after a man armed with an assault rifle fired shots at the Jesse Brown Veteran Affairs Medical Center on the Near West Side Monday afternoon, officials said.
At about 2:18 p.m., the gunman fired shots outside the hospital at 820 S. Damen Ave. before making his way inside and firing more shots, FBI special agent Jeffrey Sallet told reporters outside the hospital Monday night.
“Within 30 seconds of that firing, the VA police responded and mitigated the threat,” Sallet said.
Police were able to arrest the unnamed gunman without returning fire, he said. No one was injured in the incident.
“We avoided tragedy in the city of Chicago today, Sallet said.
Officials declined to give the gunman’s name or say how many rounds were fired. Sallet said he gunman is not believed to be a veteran.
He made no statement at the time of his arrest and the U.S. Attorney’s office is “evaluating” charges, Sallet said.
Chicago Police spokesman Tom Ahern said the gunman has had previous contact with police.
Sallet said there are “vast acts of violence” happening across the country on a regular basis.
“Here in the city of Chicago …the Chicago Police Department, state, local and federal [agencies] are working together on a regular basis to mitigate these threats,” Sallet said.
Confirming that there was no further threat to the hospital, Brown Medical Center Director Lori Lohar lauded officers and emergency responders for their “heroic efforts.”
The VA Hospital incident comes nearly nine months after Mercy Hospital shooting that left a young Chicago Police officer, a doctor at the hospital, a pharmaceutical resident and the gunman himself.