MANSFIELD, Ohio — A 14-year-old boy chased down a 15-year-old boy and shot him in the face at the entrance to a hospital's emergency room, where the victim immediately sought treatment, authorities said today.
The suspect was tackled by a hospital security guard and placed in handcuffs as he tried to follow the victim inside, said Cindy Jakubick, a spokeswoman for MedCentral/Mansfield Hospital.
The victim was treated at the hospital and then flown by helicopter to Columbus Children's Hospital, where he was in critical condition last night, Jakubick said.
Police did not have an updated condition on the boy early today. A nursing supervisor in Columbus said she couldn't release information without the boy's name, which wasn't disclosed by police.
The suspect, whose name wasn't released, was being held in a Richland County juvenile detention facility, Mansfield police Sgt. Ken Coontz said. Charges likely won't be filed until Tuesday because of the today's Presidents Day holiday, he said.
Jakubick said a hospital employee heard several teenage boys arguing near the street, and the altercation then moved toward the hospital in this city about 60 miles northeast of Columbus.
The 15-year-old boy apparently punched the 14-year-old in the face and tried to flee, then was shot once in the right cheek by a .22-caliber semiautomatic handgun, Coontz said.
The shooting happened about 5:40 p.m. between the two sets of double-doors that people pass through to enter the hospital, Coontz said. The doors operate on motion sensors located over the doorways, he said.
No one was hurt at the hospital, where people waiting in the lobby may have witnessed the shooting, Coontz said.
Patients arriving for treatment after the shooting came inside through the ambulance entrance, Jakubick said.
Police questioned the other juveniles involved in the dispute, and it wasn't yet clear why the group was in the area, Coontz said.
At the request of hospital staff, officers were stationed in the parking lot when workers went home last night, he said.
"Even though the suspect was arrested, there was some anxiety over the incident," he said.