Two Shot Inside Hospital for Special Care, Suspect in Custody

The alleged shooter is a hospital employee, police said.

Two people were shot inside the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain on Feb. 22 and the suspected shooter is due in court on Monday.

New Britain police received a 911 call at 5:53 p.m. on that Wednesday night about a shooting inside the hospital, Police Chief William Gagliardi said.  Seven 911 calls were released the next day.

Victor Valcarcel Sr., 65, a building services aide at the hospital, is accused of shooting two hospital supervisors in what police called a workplace dispute.

The hospital released a statement the day after the shooting, saying it happened at 5:50 p.m. after an employee disciplinary action in an "isolated building maintenance area."

"The shooter was not located within the building, but he was well known because he's a person who works at the hospital. Apparently, he had a dispute with a supervisor, pulled a gun and shot him," Gagliardi said.

Hospital officials said he likely went home and returned with a gun.

The two victims, Lynn Trask, of Bristol, and Robert Barucci, who recently moved from Wallingford to Southington, suffered gunshot wounds to the upper body, according to police.

They were in critical condition at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford the day after the shooting. No additional information has been released on their condition. 

Police said Barucci is Valcarel's supervisor and had disciplined him earlier in the day.

Barucci worked as a printer for the Meriden Record-Journal for about 20 years, the Record-Journal reports, and started working for the hospital a few years ago when the printing operation moved to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Valcarcel was taken into custody at his home on Helen Drive, around 7 p.m.  He was not armed when he was arrested, according to police.  

Capt. James Wardwell described Valcarcel as "calm" as he was taken into custody.

Valcarcel is employed as a building services aide, according to Lynn Ricci, senior vice president of administration at the Hospital for Special Care.

Police from several departments, including State Police and a SWAT team from Newington, responded to the shooting at the hospital on Corbin Avenue.  

The hospital was evacuated, including all employees not critical to patient care, and the hospital was on lockdown, according to a spokesperson. Patients were kept in their rooms and none were injured.

"Hospital staff immediately implemented safety protocols and local EMS and law enforcement officials quickly arrived on the scene, cared for the injured and locked down the facility.  The shooting occurred in an isolated building maintenance area and patients were never in danger," John Votto, president and CEO of the hospital, said in a statement.

Grief counselors were at the hospital to help staff.

This is a hospital that does a wonderful job caring for people and the staff work very hard to do a good job," O'Brien said.  "It's terrible that this is happening to the good people here."

Valcarel has been charged with two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder and two counts of first-degree assault. He will be in court on Thursday.

He is being held on $1 million bond and is due in court on Monday.

"Even though the immediacy of this terrible tragedy is behind us, Hospital for Special Care continues to cooperate with the local authorities. Our thoughts are with our injured employees and their families," Votto said in a statement. "We would like to stress that all of our patients are safe and being well cared for.  Grief counselors are currently available to all Hospital employees, patients and their families for all shifts.  Additional security is being provided to reassure patients, their families and our employees that their safety is our priority."

Contact Us