Police say Oakland man involved in Western Psych shooting used stolen gun
Pittsburgh police identified John Shick, 30, of Oakland, as the gunman in Thursday's shooting at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic that left him and a hospital worker dead and seven other people injured.
"At this point, we do not have anything on his background," police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said during a news conference this afternoon at police headquarters. There is nothing in Allegheny County civil or criminal court records on him.
Other records show Shick has had addresses in at least five states.
Officials said Shick fatally shot a therapist, later identified as Michael Schaab, 25, of Regent Square, and injured several others, tried to escape and was shot dead by University of Pittsburgh police.
"Indications are that the suspect went into a stairwell which leads to a parking garage, and it appears the suspect may have tried to exit one of those doors but did not have a passcard to get out," said Stangrecki.
University of Pittsburgh police Chief Tim Delaney said it appears that Shick "fired at a door to escape," but couldn't get out.
One of the guns Shick used was previously reported stolen in Texas, Strangrecki said. Police are still checking the status of the second weapon.
Police said Shick was wearing a long, tan trench coat when he walked into the unsecured lobby of Western Psych about 1:40 p.m. with two semiautomatic pistols and began shooting. After failing to escape from the second-floor exit, Shick returned to the first floor and became involved in a gun battle with three University of Pittsburgh police officers.
It's unknown how many shots were fired.
Police believe Shick shot Schaab before trying to escape, because responding police officers found the mortally wounded man on the ground before encountering Shick. Shick appeared to be "on his way back down and out the front" when he began exchanging gunfire with police.
Six Pitt officers who were on patrol nearby arrived at Western Psych within two minutes of the first report of shots fired, and immediately broke into two groups of three, per the "active shooter training" they have practiced regularly since the Virginia Tech shootings, Delaney said. The formation involves one officer in the center with an officer on each side as a "wing," Delaney said.
They found Shick in the lobby.
"As soon as the Pittsburgh officers went in, his attention went to the officers," Delaney said.
Three of the Pitt officers "engaged in gunfire" with him, Delaney said.
"This is what we prepare for and hope it never happens. It happened. I don't want to think about what could have happened with all those people in there."
One officer was injured when a bullet ricocheted off his bullet-resistant vest, Delaney said, and another officer sustained an ankle injury when he slipped in the lobby.
Delaney declined to identify any of the Pitt officers involved in the incident.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- Starkey: Tomlin lived in his fears
- Steelers receiver Wheaton takes advantage of opportunity in breakout game
- Penguins’ reshuffled top line of Crosby, Dupuis, Kunitz looks familiar
- Increasing player salaries pinch financial flexibility of Pirates
- New Florence man charged with killing police officer
- NFL notebook: Report: No tears in Gronkowski’s knee
- Steelers notebook: Bryant confident in backup Jones if Big Ben can’t play
- West Virginia notebook: Mountaineers could factor into Kansas State bowl situation
- Opening day of deer season draws better crowds than a year ago
- School bus heavily damaged in Homewood fire