Bakersfield Heart Hospital Staff Credited for Handling of Active Shooter

A code silver was issued and the hospital was locked down after an employee informed administration of a man in the employee parking lot with a rifle.

Bakersfield Heart Hospital Staff Credited for Handling of Active Shooter

After gaining access, the suspect pointed the gun at several employees but did not shoot.

Staffers at Bakersfield Heart Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., are being praised for their quick response after a gunman shot through a glass door with a rifle.

Surveillance video shows the suspect, 44-year-old Brandon Clark, waiting outside an employee entrance for about eight minutes. Clark then shoots through a door and pushes through the broken glass to enter the hospital.

Clark walked the halls of the hospital for three minutes where he pointed the rifle at several employees but did not shoot. He then exited through the same doors he entered, according to Kern Golden Empire.

Clark was shot by responding Bakersfield officers in the employee parking lot and is currently listed in critical condition. The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Clark will face several assault and firearm-related charges upon release from the hospital.

Witnesses say Clark told people he was not there to shoot them. A motive is still being determined but investigators believe Clark may have been under the influence of narcotics, reports Bakersfield Now.

“Brandon has the biggest heart of anyone I know. He must have been very sick to do this. I know his motives were not malevolent,” his family wrote in a statement.

Bakersfield police say Clark is related to an employee at the hospital but the employee was not there and had no recent contact with him prior to the incident. The relative is not believed to have been a target of the suspect, according to ABC 23.

CEO Says Hospital Staff Responded “Perfectly”

Before Clark entered the building, a hospital housekeeper, identified only as Ashley, and an unidentified security guard spoke to Clark in the parking lot. Hospital CEO Michelle Oxford says they noticed a gun hanging from Clark’s side. Ashley immediately went to Oxford’s office to inform her of the situation.

Within seconds, Oxford issued a code silver, a person with a weapon, and the hospital was placed on lockdown. Surveillance video shows nurses moving patients into secured rooms and visitors running out of a waiting room towards the front entrance of the hospital.

“As soon as the code silver (went) overhead, the entire house just kicked in,” says Vice President of Clinical Laura Cunanan.

It was ten minutes after the lockdown had been issued that Clark shot through the glass door.

Oxford says her staff goes through active shooter training twice a year and used their training “perfectly” in this situation.

“The staff put themselves above any type of harm that could be caused to make sure that patients and families were taken care of and that’s what we have trained them to do,” says Oxford.

After police shot Clark, he was brought back into the hospital to be treated.

“Even though he was the gunman, he now became a patient and our role is to take care of patients non-judgmentally and that’s what we did,” says Cunanan. “He needed our help and we were going to help him.”

Clark was treated for approximately three minutes before being transported to Kern Medical.

“I write a Friday message to my staff every Friday and I end it with ‘take care of yourself and each other’ and they certainly did that.”

About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her son and her dog.

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One response to “Bakersfield Heart Hospital Staff Credited for Handling of Active Shooter”

  1. Kevin Jordan says:

    Hi Amy,

    While I find it awesome that the staff of the hospital used their training and followed protocols perfectly as you put it and locked down the facility and the gunman had to shoot the glass door to make entry, I do find it a bit troubling how he entered and walked through for 3 minutes before exiting to engage with law enforcement.
    Why doesn’t the hospital have an off-duty police officer or deputy who is armed on the inside of the facility that when he came through the door would have ended the threat there and then.
    The fact that the gunman spent so much time outside and the response time of the police to arrive in the parking lot screams for the use of an off-duty officer in the building to mitigate the exposure to the gunman entering the building and the potential of damage and death that can be caused in 3 minutes is huge.
    Stop reading and look at your watch for 3 minutes and see a eternity of horror can be performed in that time.

    I realize its California and their aversion to firearms but there are circumstances and places where some are necessary for the greater effort of protecting groups of those that cannot otherwise protect themselves.

    That’s my opinion.

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