Shots fired, one wounded in NYC hospital waiting room

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | January 28, 2022
A gunman opened fire and shot a patient at a hospital in the Bronx
Police have arrested a gunman who opened fire Tuesday afternoon in a New York City hospital waiting room and shot and wounded a patient.

Keber Martinez, 25, began firing shots around 12:30 pm at Jacobi Medical Center in the Morris Park section of the Bronx, reported the Daily News. He charged at and fired several rounds at Ruben Perez, shooting the 35-year-old in the arm.

Surveillance video showed Martinez dressed in a black hoodie and standing a few feet away from a reception desk when he pulled out the gun and began firing. His motivation was that Perez was giving him a nasty glare and mouthing off to him. Staff confirmed that Perez was being demanding and rude in his conduct.

Martinez complained that Perez was giving him looks before he fired four shots, said police. Bystanders in the waiting room took cover, including a woman with a child. After shooting Perez in the left forearm, Martinez fled, leaving a trail of blood as Perez sought help and was taken to the operating room. He is expected to recover. No hospital employees or other patients were hurt during the incident, according to NBC Channel 4 News.

A relative of Martinez identified him as the shooter to police, who found and arrested him later that night at Harlem Hospital. He is charged with attempted murder, reckless endangerment and weapon possession.

While the shooting was believed to be an isolated incident, Jacobi Medical Center went into lockdown as a precaution. In a statement, its parent healthcare network, NYC Health + Hospitals called the act “cowardly” and praised its healthcare workers for acting “swiftly” to care for Perez and protect the other patients in the waiting room. “Our immediate focus is on caring for the patient and ensuring the safety of our staff. We are working closely with the NYPD as they conduct their investigation,” they said in a statement.

It was the second time in three months that Perez had been shot, according to the Daily News. He was previously shot in the leg back in October and had come to Jacobi Medical Center complaining of pain he was experiencing from his wound. Martinez showed up, complaining of difficulty breathing.

In a tweet, New York City Mayor Eric Adams called the shooting a “reprehensible act” and said he would visit the victim.

Early on in the aftermath, sources said that it appeared the gunman and victim knew each other. Police said they believed this to be the case though this was not confirmed.

Martinez’s arraignment in Bronx Criminal Court was pending Wednesday.

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