JPD Chief Jim Davis explains how two children were shot in front of UMMC, leading the hospital to issue an active shooter alert.
Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger
Two children who were shot inside a car traveling in front of University of Mississippi Medical Center on Thursday afternoon were expected to survive, authorities said.
A suspect in a dark sedan heading south on State Street in Jackson rolled the window down and fired four to five shots into another sedan with a woman and two children inside, Jackson Police Chief James Davis said. He said the children, ages 1 and 3, are in stable condition.
Initially there was concern of an active shooter on UMMC campus, prompting officials to warn employees in a text message to run and hide. The alert went out at about 4:45 p.m. and Davis said police, including those from JPD, UMMC and other agencies, responded just before 5:30 p.m.
The woman driving the car grabbed the children and ran into the UMMC emergency room for treatment, Davis said. One child was shot in the leg and the other child was hit in the torso, he said.
The suspect fled in a black Nissan sedan with a Cannon Motors paper tag, and was still on the loose early Thursday evening, the chief said. The woman in the car indicated to authorities she did not know who the shooter was, and Davis said he was not immediately sure if the shooting was related to a domestic dispute.
Jackson Police Chief James Davis briefs media about a shooting that took place on State Street in front of UMMC. The incident led the hospital to issue an active shooter alert out of precaution.
Davis said the police “saturated this area” when they got the call, labeling the shooting as “senseless.”
Marc Rolph, a spokesman for UMMC, said as soon as hospital officials heard reports of a shooting on or near the campus, they sent out the alert. “We do it out of an abundance of caution,” he said. He confirmed the injuries to the children are “not thought to be life threatening.”
Davis added concerns over an active shooter situation were fueled by loud and repetitive popping noises coming from a nearby parking garage, which the chief indicated put people near the scene of the shooting on edge.
The UMMC active shooter text said there was an “active shooter at Parking Garage B. “This is not a drill,” it said.
U.S. marshals and the FBI also responded to the scene and were assisting in the investigation.
Gov. Phil Bryant tweeted Thursday night, “We are thankful there was no active shooter situation at UMMC. Now the investigation begins to find who committed this terrible crime. Please pray for the young children that were injured.”
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