The unidentified suspect fled the scene before law enforcement traced his vehicle to a city 16 miles east of Portland
An on-duty security guard was fatally shot at a hospital in Oregon by a suspect who was later killed by police.
Forty-four-year-old Bobby Smallwood was working at the birthing centre of Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland when the tragic events unfolded around 11am on Saturday.
A suspect who has yet to be identified entered the building armed with a firearm and shot Smallwood and another hospital worker before fleeing the scene, according to the Portland Police Bureau. As terrified staff followed shelter-in-place protocols, Smallwood was transferred to a trauma facility, where he was pronounced dead.
The second victim remains in stable condition, police said.
Police said that officers responding to the scene set up a perimeter around the neighbourhood and attempted to locate the suspect. Officers also evacuated and searched a Fred Meyer after learning information that suggested the shooter may have been inside but he was not found.
The suspect’s car was eventually traced to the city of Gresham, about 16 miles east of Portland.
He was killed by law enforcement after his vehicle was stopped. The motive behind the shooting is still unclear.
“During the incident, shots were fired by police. The suspect is deceased. No officers were injured,” a statement by the Portland Police Bureau read.
On social media, coworkers remembered Smallwood as a devoted security guard.
“I remember him fondly from his early days as a COVID screener in our building at Mt. Hood. What a sacrifice he made protecting others,” Elana Schaff, who worked with Smallwood at Legacy Mt Hood Medical Center, wrote in a Facebook post. “My heart is there with everyone who had to endure this insane situation.”
Smallwood’s family has created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for funeral costs.
Mr Smallwood’s father Walter Smallwood told The Oregonian that his son enjoyed being surrounded by children at the hospital and wasn’t fearful of his job, despite not being armed.
“He loved children. Adults, he tolerated,” Mr Smallwood said. “He wasn’t [scared about the job]. I was.”
Smallwood had initially done administrative and computer work at Legacy Health after graduating from Portland State University in 2020. His parents told Oregon Live that he had recently been promoted to a supervisory role.
“This is a sad day for the staff at Legacy Health, and our hearts go out to the family, friends, and coworkers of the employees affected by today’s tragedy,” Chief Chuck Lovell, who responded to the scene, told The Associated Press.
“By all accounts, hospital staff and law enforcement did great work responding to this incident, and I’m grateful for the coordinated efforts by all.”
Kathryn Correia, Legacy Health president and CEO, also said in a statement: “Words cannot express the profound grief we are experiencing.
“We offer our unwavering support to Bobby’s loved ones, to our patients in our care, to the staff at Legacy Good Samaritan and to all our employees and providers suffering today.”