A man fatally shot a woman and critically wounded two others before killing himself at an assisted living facility in Westerly, Rhode Island, Thursday, police said.
The shooting at the Babcock Village Apartments retirement home about 10:30 a.m. prompted a lockdown of nearby schools as police secured the building and searched for the gunman.
Police said at a news conference around 2:30 p.m. that the suspected gunman, a 66-year-old male resident of the facility, was found dead, apparently having killed himself.
Forty-seven-year-old Julie Lynn Cardinal, an employee at the facility, was pronounced dead on scene. She leaves behind four children, including a 12-year-old and three kids in their 20s.
"My mother was an incredible woman with hopes and dreams, for not only herself, but for her loved ones and children, as well. When she walked into a room, you knew she was there, and I will always believe she will be in each room with me as I try and make her proud," Cardinal's daughter Morgan said in a statement. "Our entire family is so thankful for our community, friends, and everyone who has shown their love and support for us today.”
The two victims injured in the shooting were a 38-year-old employee and a 66-year-old woman who lived at the facility.
U.S. & World
The two survivors were rushed to two area hospitals. The 38-year-old employee is in extreme critical condition at Yale New Haven Hospital, while the 66-year-old resident is in stable condition after surgery, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said.
Not knowing who the gunman was, police swept every room in the 150-unit building, ultimately using surveillance cameras and a police robot to find the suspect dead.
"We did a cursory of every room to find out who was in the room and we had them shelter in place until the suspect was in fact located," Chief Lacey said.
The Westerly community came together Thursday night at a nearby church to pray for the victims.
"There's a lot of shock that kind of hit everybody today," said Gabriel Graffius, of the First Hopkinton Seventh Day Baptist Church. "We decided just a few hours ago that it would be a good idea to have an open invitation to the whole community to just gather together and to come together and pray."
The company that runs Babcock Village Apartments released a statement saying its staff is "shocked and saddened" over the shooting.
"Our priority, as always, is the safety of our residents and staff. We are working with law enforcement to address this situation, and further questions should be referred to the Westerly Police and Rhode Island State Police," the statement read.
Police have not identified any of the victims and they revealed little about the gunman, other than that he was a resident of the facility. They said they're still looking into the gunman's motive. A gun was recovered at the scene, though it's unclear if the gun was legal.
Westerly Public Schools said all schools were placed on lockdown until further notice and preschool dismissals were delayed.
Westerly Hospital's emergency room was also placed under a lockdown, WJAR reported.
Earlier, law enforcement sources had told NBC affiliate WJAR that a third person had died.