More than a dozen Santa Clarita Valley law enforcement units raced to the scene of what was initially feared to be an active shooter scenario at Olive View Hospital Thursday morning, helping secure the hospital until the arrest of suspected gunman was made.
Shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday, at least six vehicles from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and another six from the Newhall Station of the California Highway Patrol sped through the Newhall Pass for reports of a gunman on his way to the hospital.
“We received word of a man with a gun from a witness,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station said.
“We take these things seriously in light recent shootings,” she said. “We did send out some of our deputies this morning to help secure the (Olive View) Hospital grounds.”
CHP Sgt. Paul Reyes of the Newhall Station told The Signal: “We sent six units and a sergeant.”
The SCV contingent of deputies and officers help carry out the evacuation of the hospital, in Sylmar.
About 9:20 a.m., officers with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to reports of a that a hospital employee saw a man brandishing a black handgun on the second floor of the hospital.
“Immediately after notification was made to deputy personnel, the hospital was placed on lockdown and an evacuation of the hospital began,” LASD Dep. Joana Warren wrote in a news release issued Thursday afternoon.
Hospital staff helped by an assortment of law enforcement officers evacuated the entire campus for the safety of the employees, patients, and visitors.
About 10:20 a.m., LASD’s Special Enforcement Bureau – Special Weapons Team – responded to the hospital and assumed tactical command of the situation, Warren wrote in the release.
Members of the Special Weapons Team systematically cleared the hospital, floor by floor.
The team also searched external buildings and areas surrounding the site.
Shortly after 10:20 a.m., deputies detained a suspect matching the description of the reported gunman.
In all, seven individuals were detained pending the investigation and later cleared and released.
After the facility was cleared and deemed safe, all evacuees were allowed to return to the hospital and resume normal operations.
There is no surveillance video available at this time.
The suspect, still being sought, was described as a Hispanic man in his 40’s, approximately 5’5”, black hair, weighing about 140 pounds, clean cut wearing a gray T-shirt.
No shots were fired, and no one was hurt.
Captain Robert Lewis of the SCV Sheriff’s Station was among the local law enforcement personnel responding to the scene.
The SCV Sheriff’s Canine Unit deputy also responded.
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