Gunman Identified, Motive Still Sought

Kevin Gavin & The Associated Press March 9, 2012

Pittsburgh Police say they've identified the gunman who walked into UPMC’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) Thursday afternoon and opened fire, killing one person and wounding six others. Authorities say that 30 year old John Shick of Oakland was then fatally shot by University of Pittsburgh Police. Pittsburgh Police Commander Thomas Stangrecki says surveillance footage showed Shick walked through the front door and started shooting. 

Stangrecki says Shick was armed with 2 handguns traced to Texas, one of which was stolen, but it's too early to say if Shick had a criminal history or mental health problems.

According to city police, 3 Pitt police officers entered the building and exchanged fire with Shick.  Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the shootings.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner says 25-year-old Michael Schaab, a therapist at the clinic, was killed by the gunman.

The victim’s mother, Mary Schaab, told The Associated Press that she has no reason to believe that her son knew the shooter. She says her only other child, Nancy Schaab, was killed during a domestic dispute in October 2010 at age 26. She says the family watched yesterday's news coverage of the shootings for hours without realizing her son had been killed. They assumed he was safe because he worked on an upper floor, not near the first floor lobby where the shootings occurred.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our colleague and friend, Michael Schaab,” said Claudia Roth, President and CEO of WPIC. “It was clear that Michael was truly a leader among our staff, and he was beloved by the geriatric patients whom he cared for every day. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this time. This senseless act of violence has had a profound impact on all of us who knew and admired him. He will be greatly missed.”

Five other victims remain in UPMC Presbyterian with gunshot wounds: a 64 year old female in serious condition; a 49 year old male in serious condition; a 46 year old male and a 35 year old male, both in fair condition; and a 54 year old female in good condition. Two others were treated and released, including one person who was not injured by gunfire.

Neal Bisno, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the union representing 200 registered nurses, clerks, housekeepers and other employees at WPIC, said he’s reached out to UPMC management to examine security policies.

“We call for a full investigation to be conducted into this incident and for measures be put into place to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again,” Bisno said.

The Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic opened today with police and extra security checking employee and visitors' identification.