WHITTIER (CBSLA) — Authorities say a man who was fighting with his family at Whittier Community Hospital took his own life outside the facility after waving a gun around the ER.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Norwalk station tweeted that the situation was contained.
CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold said the man who took his own life had also briefly been a patient at the hospital.
Officials swarmed the hospital this morning after there were reports of a man in the hospital waving a gun.
For a time, patients and hospital workers did not know if there was an active shooter on the premises.
“We were panicked,” says witness Michelle Paternostro, “but we kinda made light of it a little bit. We called family and told them we were fine.”
She was visiting an uncle in the ICU at the time of the chaos and said nurses were running down the hallway yelling at people to shelter in place. At least one mentioned shots had been fired.
“She told us there was an active shooter and to stay away from the windows,” Paternostro said.
The incident reportedly started in the ER when the distraught man was brought by his daughter reportedly suffering from depression.
Officials said he went out to his car and shot himself in the parking lot.
Families members declined to comment about what happened earlier in the day only saying it was their father who had died.
If you’re having suicidal thoughts or just need to talk to someone, you’re urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.