Authorities on Wednesday named a gunman they say entered an Orangeburg hospital and opened fire, seriously injuring an employee.
Abrian Dayquan Sabb, a 23-year-old resident of Casa Court in Orangeburg, faces one count each of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to arrest warrants released by authorities.
Details about the shooting were still sparse Wednesday night.
Officials with Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties confirmed that the gunman was a patient who arrived at the hospital’s emergency department at 7:30 a.m. for treatment.
The gunman, later identified as Sabb, left about an hour later despite staff’s efforts to keep him inside, said Charles Williams, the hospital’s president and CEO.
Sabb came back 15 minutes later with a gun and shot an employee around 8:45 a.m., Williams said. The gunman surrendered to hospital security around the same time law enforcement arrived.
Arrest warrants filed against Sabb identified the victim as a male nurse who needed surgery following the shooting.
Officials said the nurse was in critical condition Wednesday afternoon. An update was not available that night.
Sabb fired multiple times, striking the nurse in the abdomen, warrants stated.
Authorities did not say where he got the gun.
An Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office account of the incident provides little more than a synopsis of law enforcement procedure at the scene.
Deputies arrived at the emergency room and restrained Sabb before escorting him outside, the Sheriff's Office stated. A deputy saw a long, black gun sitting on the ground near the nurses station.
A sweep of the hospital was completed before a crime scene investigation began, the Sheriff's Office stated.
Williams praised hospital employees for relying on their active-shooter training and their quick work to lock down the facility.
The hospital security officers to whom Sabb surrendered are not armed; however the Medical Center works with personnel from outside agencies who carry firearms, he said.
Hospital officials will review and increase security measures, Williams said.
Meanwhile, counselors and chaplains have offered support to employees.
"We're family here. It's tough, but we have people here," Williams said, fighting back tears. "We’re working together to get through this.”
In Columbia, Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, said shortly after the shooting that the suspect was a patient who had sought mental health treatment.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called at 1:43 p.m. Tuesday to Sabb’s residence after he started acting erratically and brandished a handgun.
According to an incident report and supplemental report, Sabb took out a 9mm handgun because he “felt like someone was after him,” the report stated.
A struggle ensued between Sabb and his girlfriend, who tried to get the gun away from him, the reports said. A shot went off and hit the floor but didn't injure anyone.
Sabb ran outside with the gun because he was afraid he’d get in trouble once law enforcement arrived, the reports stated.
When deputies arrived, they found Sabb near the wood line and the handgun behind a dumpster, the reports stated.
Sabb eventually told deputies that he knew he had an issue but wanted to talk to a doctor about it, the reports said. Deputies noted that he didn't appear to be a threat to himself or anyone else.
After speaking to deputies by phone, Sabb’s parents, “agreed that they wanted to take him (redacted) and his dad stated he would take possession of his handgun for safe keeping when he arrived.”
At the request of Cobb-Hunter, the S.C. House of Representatives stood and observed a moment of silence to pray for the victim and those involved.
"I don’t know if any of you have had the experience of being the victim of a random shooting," Cobb-Hunter said to her colleagues. "Unfortunately, in Orangeburg County, there is a nurse fighting for (their) life because of a ... shooting this morning in our hospital."
The shooting was the first such incident at Regional Medical Center, Williams said.
Hospital shootings are rare. Yet tragedies in recent years — including the deaths of a police officer, two employees and the gunman at Mercy Hospital in Chicago in November — have prompted some hospitals to review and upgrade their security practices.
Seanna Adcox contributed to this report.