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Confusion reigned in first hours after Johns Hopkins shooting

Details of the Johns Hopkins incident were reported differently as the day went on.
Details of the Johns Hopkins incident were reported differently as the day went on.
  • Thursday's shooting at a hospital in Baltimore triggered conflicting reports
  • By Thursday evening, police determined that a murder-suicide had occurred
  • A doctor was shot by the suspect earlier
  • During the incident and immediately afterwards, confusion reigned at the scene

(CNN) -- Conflicting reports about a shooting Thursday at Maryland's Johns Hopkins Hospital -- including incorrect information that the suspect had been disarmed and apprehended -- were prevalent in the hours immediately after the incident, highlighting the confusion that initially reigned at the scene.

By Thursday evening, Baltimore police said they'd determined that Paul Warren Pardus, 50, of Arlington, Virginia, shot a Johns Hopkins doctor late Thursday morning after becoming distraught over an update he had received about his mother's medical condition.

Pardus then retreated to his mother's room, where he fatally shot his mother and then himself, Baltimore police said. The doctor suffered non-life-threatening wounds and is expected to recover, according to police.

But earlier, details about Pardus' name, how he died, and even whether he died -- at one point a hospital spokesman said he'd been apprehended, when police said he hadn't -- had been reported differently.

People who heard about the incident during the first few hours may be surprised to learn how it turned out. A recap of the reports can help show how the information evolved.

-- A shooting was reported at Johns Hopkins at about 11 a.m. By noon, police said that a doctor had been critically injured. Local TV stations were reporting that a suspect had barricaded himself in a room, and that authorities were evacuating the building.

-- Shortly after noon, a hospital spokesman said the suspect had been "subdued and disarmed." The hospital said the facility was on lockdown, and that people were being asked to stay in their rooms.

Video: Hospital workers describe shooting scene

-- By 12:40 p.m., a police spokesman had said authorities had no suspect in custody, disputing an account given by the hospital. A tactical unit was in the hospital, and the suspect was in a fixed location, police said.

The police spokesman also said the wounded doctor, who earlier was listed in critical condition, had suffered non-life-threatening injuries and would recover.

-- The hospital spokesman then clarified that the suspect had been "isolated," and that he didn't know whether the suspect had been apprehended.

-- By 12:45 p.m., police had said the situation had been "contained," and that only portions of the hospital had been evacuated -- which fit with the hospital's explanation that some people were being asked to stay in their rooms.

People outside the hospital, including employees who had left the building, were scared and confused. One worker told a local reporter that her mother, who also worked there, apparently was still inside, having been told to stay put.

"We can't really do anything. We have to wait until they find out what's going," she said. "I really am scared."

Another employee, Cynell Robertson, told WBAL that the moments after the doctor was shot were frightening.

"My boss came running in to tell me to stay put where I am at, [and that] there's a guy running around with a gun and we didn't know what he's going to do," Robertson told WBAL before 2 p.m.

-- Shortly after 1:30 p.m., a police spokesman said for the first time that the suspect was inside a room with what they believed was a family member, and that the suspect was an African-American male in his mid-30s. Authorities were "still trying to gain control of the suspect," though the situation was contained, he said.

-- Around 1:45 p.m., police said they had shot and killed the suspect. About a half-hour later, however, police said the suspect had killed himself in a homicide-suicide.

-- By about 3:20 p.m., Baltimore's police commissioner had said that the suspect was Warren Davis, 50. Davis, according to the commissioner, apparently had killed his mother and then shot himself.

The incident began, the commissioner said, when the suspect became distraught while he was getting an update on his mother's medical condition. He pulled a pistol out of his waistband, shot the doctor, and then retreated to his mother's room, the commissioner said.

-- By 5:20 p.m., police said that the suspect had been using an alias, and that his real name was Paul Warren Pardus. Police said they still believed that the slain woman, Jean Davis, 84, was Pardus' mother.

By evening, police explained how they had found Pardus: At about 1:30 p.m., after nearly two and a half hours with no contact with the gunman, officers used a robot to peer into the room. When they detected no movement, police entered to find the suspect and his mother dead, Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld said.