ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - One person is in critical condition following a shooting inside the Regional Medical Center-Orangeburg on Wednesday.
During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, the hospital president Charles Williams said the suspect was originally a patient at the hospital, left the emergency room, and returned with a gun, shooting a hospital employee. Williams said employees tried to get the person to stay but could not.
The shooting happened around 8:50 a.m. and the suspect was detained shortly thereafter. The victim was immediately taken into surgery after the shooting and is in critical condition at this time.
The shooter has been identified as Abrian Sabb. Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said Sabb’s being charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
According to incident reports from the OCSO, Sabb previously made contact with deputies on April 9, when they responded to a disturbance call involving Sabb.
The report states Sabb carried a gun because he thought someone was “after him”. His girlfriend told deputies Sabb suffers from “schizophrenia” and was having a “mental breakdown.” The girlfriend tried to take away the gun because of his “mental breakdown” and it accidentally went off.
Sabb took off running with the firearm in his possession when patrol vehicles approached.
He was located at Casa Court when officers conducted a property check. A black and silver 9 MM was located behind a dumpster. The deputy picked the handgun up and secured it in a patrol vehicle.
Deputies make contact with Sabb’s parents, and stood with him until his father arrived on the scene. From there the report states Sabb rode to the hospital with his parents.
The gun was turned over to his father without incident.
Williams said it’s been a tough day for staff working, or as he likes to call them ‘family.’
“As you can imagine...It’s difficult,” Williams said. “Whenever you have someone of your family, we’re family here it’s tough”
Officials say within minutes the suspected gunman was in custody. The hospital immediately issued a code silver and locked down the hospital as law enforcement went door to door to ensure the safety of all patients.
Vivian, who did not want to share her last name tells WIS she was about to visit her sister in the hospital when she drove up to dozens of police cars surrounding the hospital.
“I’m disturbed where can you be safe now?” Vivian said. “It can happen anywhere. I’m just so sorry it happened here.”
Zenovia Harris, an Orangeburg resident tells WIS “It’s very very scary. You know you bring your kids to a public place or your family is in a public place and you want them to feel safe.”
Safety and security is a big concern for visitors of the hospital, as well as those who work here.
“I can assure you, for individuals coming here, the employees, the patients, and the community, we are putting steps in place that we will not only ensure that it is safe, and promote an environment that continues to be safe, but we’re going to be putting increased things,” Williams said.
The hospital is no longer under a lockdown and all functions, including the emergency room, have re-opened.
Per the Associated Press, Democratic Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg said on the House floor Wednesday she was told by the Orangeburg County administrator that a nurse was hit in a random shooting by someone with mental problems.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor will be on site shortly and communication will be forthcoming advising of arrival.