DOWNEY (CBSLA) — An armed 34-year-old Lynwood man was detained after authorities swarmed a Kaiser Permanente medical facility in Downey Tuesday morning.
According to Downey police, just after 11:30 a.m., officers received calls about a man with a knife or possibly a gun at building on the campus of Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center. As they were responding, they received another report that possible shots had been fired.
Officers arrived at Kaiser’s Orchard Medical Building, located at 9333 Imperial Highway, entered and confronted the suspect.
“They immediately confronted the subject, he surrendered, and he gave himself up without incident,” Downey Police Chief Carl Charles said at Tuesday afternoon news briefing. “He was arrested and taken into custody.”
A handgun was located at the scene. No knives were found.
Investigators confirmed the suspect did fire rounds inside the building, but no injuries were reported.
“The information that we got was that he was causing a disturbance inside the hospital,” Charles said. “One of the Kaiser security personnel went over and contacted them, at which time he threw a chair through a window and produced a handgun. That is when it was believed six or seven shots were heard. We have not been able to confirm that at this time.”
The suspect was later identified as 34-year-old Jesus Chavez. Police could not confirm if he was a patient.
There were 400 people evacuated from the Orchard building, Downey police Capt. Mark McDaniel told reporters.
Sheriff’s SWAT teams and Downey police were searching the hospital floor by floor as of 2 p.m. to ensure the building was safe.
“This afternoon, there was an active shooter incident at our Orchard Medical Building at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Downey,” Kaiser said in a statement. “A suspect has been detained, and we believe everyone is safe and that no one was injured. The facility remains locked down for the safety of everyone onsite.”
Receptionist Carmen Urbina and Nurse Gloria Razon were working on the third floor of the Orchard building when they heard the disruption coming from below.
“We just heard like loud noises, like windows shattering,” Urbina told reporters.
“We just literally jumped and we screamed and we just basically, well I was in the break room,” Razon added.
Urbina said they looked down to see two large windows shattered.
“It just sounded like a gunshot, I don’t know if it was just the windows that shattered from the furniture that they threw across the window?” Razon said.
A Code Silver, which designates a weapons or hostage situation, was issued by the hospital and the women barricaded themselves in a room.
“I think our manager was like, ‘you guys need to go to the back, you need to go to a room, to lock yourselves in,” Razon said.
Aerial footage showed evacuated staff and patients waiting outside the hospital as more people were escorted outside. Those still inside were asked to shelter in place.
Drivers were asked to avoid the area of Imperial Highway and Bellflower Boulevard.