DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Authorities have released more details about the actions of a Florida man who threatened patients and nurses with a gun before killing himself at a hospital.
Daytona Beach Police Department officers responded early in the morning of Jan. 5 to a report of shots being fired at a moving car. Shortly thereafter, police received a report of gunfire at nearby Halifax Health Medical Center.
Kevin Noel, the hospital's director of security, retraced the gunman's steps Friday for The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
According to investigators, Jonathan Rodriguez-Jeff of Deltona shot a glass door entrance at the hospital's professional services building. He then went to the second floor and made his way into a second hospital building.
He took a path through a series of dark and winding corridors, eventually entering the cardiac intensive care unit, Noel said.
"It's like a rat in a maze," he said. "He didn't know where he was going. He was basically lost and trying to figure out how to get out of this place."
Police responding to the scene initially didn't know where to find him because he was not firing his shotgun, said Police Chief Mike Chitwood.
The total square footage of the hospital is 1.5 million square feet, and the Fountain Building where Rodriguez-Jeff was roaming is 220,000 square feet. Police shut down nearby roads and closed off hospital entrances, believing he was still outside.
"There was a long period of time when there was a lot of anxiety," Lt. Bill Rhodes said. "We had no idea where he was."
A detective who was in the hospital emergency room investigating a separate case finally alerted officers to Rodriguez-Jeff's whereabouts inside the hospital.
A security guard had to open the Fountain Building's doors to police. Officials say that protocol will change because of the Jan. 5 shooting.
Police heard a gunshot in a patient's room at 4:13 a.m.
Rodriguez-Jeff had confronted a nurse tending to a patient with Alzheimer's. He pointed his shotgun at the nurse's head and demanded that she perform a sex act, but she refused and pushed the gun away, Chitwood said.
Rodriguez-Jeff then shot himself in the head, police said.
Rodriguez-Jeff entered a total of four patient rooms but shot no one, said Noel.
"From accounts of staff, they could tell he had a look in his eye that he was going to hurt somebody," Noel said. "It ended up being himself."
At some point in the ordeal, two nurses were hit with the butt of Rodriguez-Jeff's shotgun, investigators said. They suffered minor injuries. No patients were hurt.
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