1 person killed, 1 in custody after shooter enters Arkansas hospital

Mid-South

SHERWOOD, Ark. (KARK) – One person was killed in a shooting at a hospital outside Little Rock, Arkansas, police confirmed Wednesday.

Sherwood Police Department Chief Jeff Haga said during a news conference that 21-year-old Leighton Whitfield died at the hospital of gunshot wounds, and one “person of interest” had been taken into custody. Police identified that individual as 24-year-old Raymond Lovett Jr.

Lovett has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault.

Authorities said the shooting was targeted, and that Whitfield was in the hospital visiting a patient at the time of the shooting.

The incident was originally reported as an “active shooter” situation at the CHI St. Vincent hospital. A spokesperson for the Sherwood Police Department said the call for police came at about 10 a.m., and officers were on the scene shortly thereafter. They immediately established a perimeter and entered the building, clearing the hospital.

The hospital went into lockdown, and Sherwood police asked the public to avoid the area as they investigated.

Workers gathered outside the hospital told Nexstar’s KARK they were ordered to evacuate.

An employee of the hospital system said she knew coworkers inside the building at the time. Her coworker said she heard gunshots while heading up the stairs. 

Another person said his dad was in surgery when an active shooter was announced over the intercom. He was taken out of the hospital, but he said his dad stayed inside. 

Police said they received a tip that a potential suspect in the shooting had been spotted at a Little Rock gas station around 11 a.m. The Little Rock Police Department said officers arrived at the gas station, spotted the individual and took that person into custody.

Video from the scene showed multiple agencies responding, including the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Police Department, North Little Rock Police Department and the Arkansas State Police. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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