Police: Johns Hopkins gunman killed himself, mother

Warren Davis, 50, reportedly overwhelmed by doctor's news of her condition. Unclear what she was being treated for

Published September 16, 2010 7:29PM (EDT)

The man who shot and wounded a doctor at Johns Hopkins Hospital and then killed himself and his mother was distraught over news of his mother's condition, Baltimore police said Thursday.

Baltimore police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said the gunman, 50-year-old Warren Davis, shot his mother, Jean Davis, in her hospital room. The doctor, who was not identified, had been telling Davis about his mother's condition when the man "became emotionally distraught and reacted ... and was overwhelmed by the news of his mother's condition," Bealefeld said.

He said he did not know what the woman was being treated for.

Davis then pulled a semiautomatic handgun from his waistband shot the doctor once in the abdomen, the commissioner said. After that, Davis holed up in his mother's hospital room for two hours.

When officers made their way to room 873, they found Warren Davis dead on the floor and his mother dead in her hospital bed.

The doctor, who collapsed just outside the room, underwent surgery and is expected to survive, police said. His name has not been released by police or the hospital.

Michelle Burrell, who works in a coffee shop in the hospital lobby, said she was told by employees who were on the floor where the doctor was shot that the gunman was angry with the doctor's treatment of his mother.

"Basically, he was upset about his mother being paralyzed by the doctor," Burrell said. "It's crazy."

A small area of the hospital had been locked down before the gunman died, as about a dozen officers wearing vests and helmets and carrying assault weapons prepared to go into the hospital at midday. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the gunman had not taken any hostages, and people with appointments in other parts of the hospital were encouraged to keep them.

The FBI was assisting Baltimore police, said FBI spokesman Richard J. Wolf.

The gunman was on the 8th floor of the Nelson building, the main hospital tower. According to the Hopkins website, the eighth floor is home to orthopedic, spine, trauma and thoracic services.

Guglielmi said the situation was contained to that part of the hospital, and no people had been locked in rooms or otherwise in danger.

The rest of the massive hospital, research and medical education complex remained open, including the emergency department.

With more than 30,000 employees, Johns Hopkins Medicine is among Maryland's largest private employers and the largest in Baltimore. The hospital has more than 1,000 beds and more than 1,700 full-time doctors.


Associated Press writers Ben Nuckols and Kathleen Miller contributed to this report.

By Alex Dominguez

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