PARKLAND — A man wounded in a gang-related shootout escaped from a hospital during a “commotion” in an emergency room, police said.
“A group of people showed up, there was a commotion,” at St. Joseph Medical Center “and he took off,” Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
Investigators believe at least two suspected gang members were involved in the shooting, and the man who fled the emergency room had suffered multiple gunshot wounds, The News Tribune reported. The other person was not injured, authorities said.
The melee broke out around 4 p.m. Thursday in Parkland, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle, deputies said.
The uninjured suspect ran several blocks before pointing a gun at Central Pierce firefighters who were leaving their station in response to the gunfire, Troyer said.
“We’re very lucky nobody else got injured or killed,” Troyer said.
That suspect was tracked and pursued by a police dog, but escaped, authorities said. The neighborhood was placed on lockdown during the search for the suspect.
The sheriff’s department, the gang unit and the FBI are investigating.