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Police find no evidence of shooter at Houston hospital

Police said they had received multiple calls about a shooter on the second floor of Ben Taub Hospital, a major healthcare centre in the city.

world Updated: Feb 22, 2017 08:59 IST
Hospital patients and staff stand in a laneway adjacent to Ben Taub Hospital while police conduct a floor-by-floor sweep of the second floor after reports of a shooting incident at the major healthcare center in Houston, Texas, on February 21.
Hospital patients and staff stand in a laneway adjacent to Ben Taub Hospital while police conduct a floor-by-floor sweep of the second floor after reports of a shooting incident at the major healthcare center in Houston, Texas, on February 21.(Reuters Photo)

Police swarmed a Houston hospital on Tuesday after reports of a shooting but found no evidence any weapon had been fired and said no one was injured in the incident.

Police said they had received multiple calls about a shooter on the second floor of Ben Taub Hospital, a major healthcare centre in the city. They then conducted a floor-by-floor sweep.

“We have not found any evidence of a shooter yet,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters outside the hospital. “We have not found anyone injured. We have not found a suspect.”

He added there were multiple witnesses who said they heard two large bangs and someone yell “drop the gun.”

He added: “I can’t say that there was no shooting. If there was a threat, that threat is not present here now.”

The hospital has returned to normal operations, he said, adding SWAT officers will stay for several hours as a precaution.

Live aerial coverage from Houston television station KHOU showed officers outside the facility, with several drawing their weapons, and patients on gurneys being wheeled out.

James and Alma Delacruz were in the hospital’s emergency room when panic set in on reports of the shooter. Staff blocked some doors with furniture and tried to remove patients through others, they said.

“I was really scared,” Alma Delacruz said.