Police ID gunman in Western Psych shooting



PITTSBURGH -- Police have identified the gunman from Thursday's shooting at the Western Psychiatric Institute in Oakland as 30-year-old John Shick.

Channel 11's Rick Earle has confirmed that Shick was a patient at Western Psych in the past. Sources said his treatment ended in December.  UPMC did not provide that information; its policy prevents UPMC from confirming patient information.

Investigators said Shick, of North Oakland, walked into the hospital and fired several shots using two semi-automatic guns.  Police said Shick killed Michael Schaab, 25, of Edgewood and injured seven others in the rampage.

Among the injured was a University of Pittsburgh police officer who was grazed in the leg by a bullet.

Investigators said the injured officer and two other officers saved several lives after shooting and killing the gunman during exchanged gunfire.

"You have to stop the shooter," University of Pittsburgh Police Chief Tim Delaney said. "Nobody wants to do it, but you have to."

Delaney credits his officers for responding quickly and effectively.

"We practice responding to shootings a lot," Delaney said. "This is exactly why we train, to protect people and to stop the action."

One of the victims was released from the hospital Friday night leaving four victims remaining hospitalized with injuries.  A spokeswoman for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said a 35-year-old man is listed in good condition while two other men aged 46 and 49 are listed as fair and a 65-year-old woman is also listed in fair condition.

Two other victims were released from the hospital Thursday evening.

A relative identified one of the injured as receptionist Kathryn F. Leight, 64, of Shaler. Leight's husband told Channel 11 News that she underwent surgery on Thursday and is listed in serious condition.

Leight's neighbor, Darcy Kubiscek, said Leight was very well-liked and a very nice neighbor.

"I saw her name and I was just in shock. I couldn't believe it," Kubiscek said. "Of all people, I would have never expected her to have such bad luck."

Leight was shot more than once during Thursday's shooting and is slipping in and out of consciousness.

"She's in my prayers and if there's anything the family needs, just ask. We're here. I'm praying for a great recovery," Kubiscek said.

Police said Shick acted alone and used two semi-automatic handguns in the shooting spree. According to authorities, he walked into the lobby of the hospital around 1:40 p.m. and began shooting.

Pittsburgh Police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki said both guns were traced to Texas and one of the guns is confirmed to be stolen.

"There's no indication that Shick spoke to anyone at the facility," Stangrecki said. "He came in and started firing."

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., released a statement on Friday saying,  "I join with Pennsylvanians in expressing my deepest sympathies to those wounded and killed in yesterday's fatal shooting at Pittsburgh's Western Psychiatric. I am saddened by the loss and horrified by such acts of senseless violence. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families."

Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Corbett said he wants security measures at the facility reviewed and improved.

"Obviously it's very disturbing, and I think we need to review exactly what happened and what happened to the lack of security at that facility," Corbett said.

A UPMC spokesperson defended the hospital saying, "While UPMC's current security measures are in line with the standards nationwide, all procedures are being rigorously reviewed."

The mayor of Pittsburgh said he is thankful for the bravery of the hospital employees and police officers.

“I want to give my thanks and appreciation to a lot of people, including the employees at Western Psych.  To see their courage and willingness to step up is to be commended.  The bravery of our public safety department from the top down.  The paramedics, who were there this afternoon. It reminded me of the heroism in the Stanton Heights shooting.  The Pittsburgh police department. In a matter of minutes, they were on the scene and in the building.  They saved lives today,” said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Critical incident response and self defense expert Sam Rosenberg said in most cases, mass killers are looking for notoriety.

"What we have is basically someone who has an agenda that they want to get out there.  They've got a beef against an organization.  They feel like they were slighted.  They were humiliated.  They were degraded.  They weren't treated the way they feel they were entitled to, and ultimately they decide to try to make a big impact," Rosenberg said.

Former FBI Agent Larry Liker, who spent his entire career tracking and studying violent criminals, said he thinks Shick had plans to get past the lobby and assasinate dozens of victims.

"The display of two weapons is very common and I am sure that was part of the image that he wanted to portray as he came in," Likar said.

Likar said he believes Shick had some kind of connection to the hospital, possibly being a former patient. He also said the Pitt Police Officers saved what could have been a mass murder.

A hotline has been established for those affected. For information on patients, property left at the scene or other concerns call 412-623-7724.

Western Psychiatric Institute treats people for mental health and addictive disorders. The clinic has 2,000 employees and 310 patient beds.  The clinic reopened on Friday  with police and extra security checking employee and visitors' identifications.