DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A man suspected of shooting an Ohio veterans hospital housekeeping employee in the ankle was scheduled for a federal court hearing on Tuesday.
Neil Moore, 59, was to appear before a U.S. magistrate in Dayton on possible charges, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said. Authorities said 61-year-old Paul Burnside was shot Monday in a struggle over a gun with Moore. Authorities say the gun went off as the two fought over it in a hospital break room.
Moore and Burnside apparently knew each other, but investigators said Monday that they hadn’t determined a possible motive. Police say Moore left the hospital after the shooting, but was taken into custody at another hospital where he was seeking psychiatric treatment.
“We don’t know how he exited,” Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl said. Moore worked in housekeeping for 27 years before retiring in October, according to a statement from the hospital. Burnside also was a housekeeping aide and started at the hospital in 1998.
Authorities said three people witnessed the shooting. In a 911 call, an officer with the Veterans Affairs police told a dispatcher the suspected gunman was wearing a jacket with a U.S. Marine Corps emblem and that they were searching for him on the first floor. The FBI said a revolver was found later inside the suspect’s vehicle.
Moore’s sister-in-law, Stephanie Brooks, told reporters outside the family’s home in the Dayton suburb of Trotwood that they were devastated. “We’re all confused and we’re trying to find out what has happened,” she said.
Neighbors said they were shocked to hear that Moore was the suspect. “It was surreal,” said Charles Taylor, 37, who lives across the street from Moore. “He has always seemed to be a good guy, and a role model for the neighborhood.”
Burnside’s daughter, Shirneal Burnside, 16, said outside his house Monday that her sister called to tell her about the shooting, but she had few details. “It’s just crazy that people do such things,” she said.
The shooting, during the lunch hour in the basement of the hospital’s main building in the service and operations area, led to a lockdown at the hospital as FBI agents searched the complex. The hospital complex has beds for about 450 people and provides veterans with medical, mental health and nursing home care. It does not have metal detectors at its entrances, but the hospital does have its own security force.
Four years ago, an Iraq War Army veteran who had been a patient at the hospital shot himself to death at a monument to soldiers outside the facility.
Associated Press writers Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus and John Seewer in Toledo contributed to this report.