Police in Birmingham, Alabama received a call at approximately 4:00 a.m. on Saturday stating there was a male subject with a gun in St. Vincent's Hospital.
When police arrived, they located 38-year-old Jason Letts on the firth floor of the hospital. As they approached Letts, he allegedly opened fire on the officers, striking one officer and two hospital employees. The second responding officer returned fire, fatally wounding Letts.
Police Sgt. Johnny Williams told WAFF that injuries sustained by the officer and hospital staff were not considered life-threatening. A motive for the shooting has not been determined at this time.
WJLA is reporting that Liz Moore, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said only a handful of cardiac patients and several staff members were on floor when the shooting occurred.
In a statement issued by Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper, the Chief stated:
“In light of the recent mass shooting in Connecticut, too many of these incidents end with unimaginable tragedy. I am amazed at the bravery of our officers as they confronted this armed gunman in the hallway. I have absolutely no doubt that their courageous actions at that exact moment saved many lives. All of Birmingham should be proud and appreciative that these are the type of officers that protect our communities every day. The hospital staff and especially the security team should also be commended because they performed with selfless service which contained the incident until the officers’ arrival.”
Led by investigators from the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, The Birmingham Police Department's Homicide Unit and Internal Affairs Department are investigating the incident.
In a separate incident, three individuals were found dead in a trailer park just outside Heflin, Alabama, a town 75 miles east of Birmingham. A two-year-old child was also found injured.
As police began looking for a suspect in the shooting, 33-year-old Roberto Moya began running from police, leading them in a lengthy vehicle pursuit. After crashing his car at a busy intersection in Oxford, Alabama, the suspect allegedly exited his vehicle armed with an AK47 assault rifle. According to WJLA, the suspect immediately began shooting at police, striking one officer.
The suspect reportedly carjacked another vehicle at the intersection and fled the scene, crashing shortly afterwards. Members of the Oxford Police Department SWAT team shot and killed Moya when he once again produced the rifle as he exited the car.
The officer shot by Moya is reported to be listed in critical condition at a local hospital.