Watch CBS News

Brigham And Women's Visitors: 'It Was Panic'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Patients and visitors at Brigham and Women's Hospital described a frightening scene Tuesday morning when a man shot and killed a cardiac surgeon.

Witnesses said a public address system inside the Shapiro Center, a cardiovascular unit, told people that there had been a life-threatening emergency on the second floor, and that they needed to evacuate immediately. Some saw scores of police officers with guns drawn rush past them.

"We didn't know what to think. Was it a terrorist attack?" one woman told reporters. "We didn't know what was going on, they didn't say."

Boston police later said that the gunman fatally shot himself in an examining room shortly after 11 a.m.

Brigham Shooting
Police outside the Shapiro Center after the shooting. (WBZ-TV)

James Pitelli of New York was inside the Shapiro Center because his son was having a heart procedure done. A security guard told him he had to evacuate immediately.

"They were like, 'we need to get out of the building now'," Pitelli said. "People started yelling 'get down, get down."

Pitelli said a chaotic scene followed as people tried to get to safety.

"It was panic. People were falling down, knocking people over," he said. "It was crazy, it was surreal."

The doctor later called Pitelli to tell him that his son was safe and the procedure went well.

Visitors inside Brigham and Women's Hospital during a shooting describe the chaotic incident (WBZ)

Another woman at the hospital for a cardiogram said she heard an announcement telling people to shelter in place.

"After that they came and ushered us into one room," she said. "We didn't see or hear anything. We were all just concerned."

Until officials gave the all clear, patients said they heard rumors, but didn't know anything for sure.

"With everything going on in the world, it's something to be concerned about," a female patient said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports: 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.