SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport Police Chief Ben Raymond revealed more details Thursday about the shooting at St. Mary Medical Center early Wednesday morning that led to a massive response from law enforcement.
The shooting at the Shreveport hospital led to a lockdown and an intensive search inside the building that later expanded to a statewide manhunt.
Police say 41-year-old Taniel Cole walked into the hospital around 5:30 a.m. and shot someone in the leg before leaving the building and his car behind and carjacking a woman as she arrived for work at nearby Buckner Square. The woman was able to escape from Cole in Monroe and call 911. Cole reportedly went on to take another vehicle from a dealership there before he was taken into custody near the Alabama state line in Meridian, Mississippi.
At a news conference Thursday morning, Raymond said the shooting happened in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, and that it was a domestic-related incident between Cole and a family member or friend in which Cole pulled out a gun and threatened his intended victim, as well as nurses, civilians, and staff at the hospital. Raymond said another person who Cole did not know was shot when he intervened.
The shooting victim is expected to recover. Cole is expected to be extradited back to Louisiana soon to face attempted second-degree murder and carjacking charges, as well as kidnapping, armed robbery with a firearm, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Monroe police are also expected to charge Cole with theft of a motor vehicle.
Raymond went on to praise the coordinated response of numerous agencies to the active shooter situation as well as the statewide manhunt that followed.
“I’ve never even participated in a training scenario that went as smoothly as yesterday’s real-world operation,” said Raymond.
Louisiana State Police, U.S. Marshals, the FBI, and local law enforcement agencies all along the I-20 corridor and into Mississippi were among those who responded.
Chief Raymond and Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins visited the scene late Wednesday morning, where Perkins commended a “very collaborative approach.”
“They worked together today like they work together every single day.”
“This is, unfortunately, the type of situation that we’ve trained for for years, an active shooter type event in which you have a large structure with a number of innocent people in a bad guy with a gun. That’s literally what our officers responded to shortly after 5:30 this morning,” Raymond said Wednesday in describing a quick response and a massive operation.
“Shreveport police patrol officers working their normal shifts were the first to respond. We had officers coming from throughout the city, those that were available came to the scene. Immediately set up a command post, where a supervisor took charge and they began clearing this hospital, which is close to one million square feet. It’s an 18-acre structure and we initially had about 12 police officers clearing that structure, looking for a possible shooter.”
Raymond also answered questions Thursday about how the shooting suspect was able to get into the building in the first place.
“I can’t speak specifically, but I do know this is a one-million-square-foot structure. There are limited entrances to it. But I can certainly see the difficulty in trying to ensure that every single person in that facility doesn’t have a weapon on them. We have people that get into secure facilities, on occasion, with weapons. And so it’s very difficult, I can imagine, for a facility that large to prevent what could be a lethal weapon from getting in the door, but I can’t speak specifically to how he got into the building or the reason for allowing him entrance or anything like that.”