VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A struggle between a police officer and a murder suspect led to the officer’s gun being discharged in a stairwell at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital on Friday.
Sentara Healthcare initially sent an alert warning of an active shooter on the fourth floor of the hospital, saying a caller heard gunshots in a stairwell. However, hospital officials later said there was no active shooter and that there was no threat to any staff, patients or the community.
Virginia Beach police say no one was injured, and there was never an active shooter in the building.
A woman who was inside the hospital at the time of the incident said she heard there was an inmate trying to escape police.
"I didn’t hear the gunshot, but I heard everyone screaming," said the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous. "I heard there was an inmate that was being transported by an officer and that he was trying to get away, and then he was tussling for the gun then the gun went off. That’s what I was told. I think that is very scary to come to the ER and be checked out then you have an inmate tussling with an officer."
Another woman who was in the emergency room said she was terrified.
"Oh my God. I was scared. I sure was, indeed," Margarette Manuel recalled. "All I was doing was praying: 'Good God almighty. Lord, have mercy. Jesus.' That’s what I was saying to myself."
Manuel said she did not hear any gunshots, but said she saw commotion inside the hospital.
"It happened so quick. I was going inside from parking my daughter’s car. By the time I got in there, they were like, 'You all leave. We got an active shooter,'" Manuel said.
In a statement released Saturday morning, police said an officer arrived at the hospital to take Matthew Christie into custody.
Christie, 38, is charged with first-degree murder and malicious assault of his 74-year-old mother, Linda Christie. She was found dead Oct. 16.
Officers are currently on scene and have suspect in custody at Virginia Beach General. This is not an active shooter incident. More information to follow with further investigation.
— Virginia Beach PD (@VBPD) October 22, 2021