Gunman Commits Suicide After Florida Hospital Ordeal

PALM BAY, Fla. (AP) -- A man who was recently fired from a Florida hospital fired shots inside its cafeteria Thursday and then barricaded himself in a room before killing himself, authorities said. No one else was injured.

The man had been threatening people and pointing the gun at them inside the preparation area in the cafeteria at Palm Bay Hospital before he took shelter, Palm Bay police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said. He was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a 3 1/2-hour standoff, she said.

Crime scene investigators were working to find more information about the shooting.

Hospital spokesman Elliot Cohen said the gunman worked at the hospital about two years until he was fired last month, in part because of a poor attendance record. Officials have not released his name or his former position at the hospital.

"We know who he is," Cohen said.

Police also said the man was having issues with his property manager in nearby Melbourne. They believe an argument there prompted him to head to the hospital.

"He was distraught, had made some threats of suicide before he left," Martinez said.

The standoff created a chaotic scene around the hospital.

Police shut down the streets around the hospital, and some patients' family and friends gathered outside searching for information. A bomb with a robot was stationed outside the hospital, a 152-bed, nonprofit facility on Florida's Space Coast that offers outpatient and inpatient services.

But there were no evacuations because the part of the hospital the man was barricaded in was isolated. Surgeries and other operations went on as scheduled, Cohen said.

SWAT team members had the room surrounded, and a crisis negotiation team had tried to communicate with the gunman. After a few hours and still no word, police said they went into the room and found his body.

The standoff comes almost a year to the day since a man stormed a downtown Orlando office of his former employer, killing a one-time colleague and wounding five others. The accused gunman from that Nov. 6, 2009, shooting, Jason Rodriguez, is awaiting trial.