Doctor Shot in Head During Robbery at Fairview Southdale Hospital
A year before the shooting, employees said they asked administrators to provide better protection in parking areas but nothing was done.
EDINA, Minn. — A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and charging of a man police say shot a doctor in the head during a robbery as he was walking to his car Monday night.
According to a press release from the city of Edina, police were called around 8:55 p.m. Monday on the report of a shooting in the parking lot at M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital, reports KSTP. The hospital was placed in lockdown after the shooting and was lifted just before midnight.
The suspect fled the scene before police arrived. The 45-year-old victim told officers the man tried to rob him in the parking ramp on the second floor before shooting him. He described the suspect as an Asian man in his 30s with a shaved head and a tattoo on the right side of his neck.
Surveillance photos were released of a person of interest on Tuesday afternoon. Anyone with information should call the Edina Police Department at 952-826-1600.
A spokesperson for M Health Fairview said they could not release more information about the victim due to HIPAA laws. The man was discharged from the hospital Tuesday morning and is in good condition.
Nurses Dissatisfied with Hospital Security
Last year, hospital employees said they asked administrators to provide better protection in parking areas but that their requests were denied, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“M Health Fairview was not interested in discussions regarding parking ramp safety when we proposed this in 2019 and never provided any counterproposal,” Minnesota Nurses Association member Cassy Fogale told the Journal Sentinel.
A spokeswoman from M Health confirmed that Fairview did not take up the issue of parking safety during contract negotiations with the nurses union last year.
The nurses said they had to face “unsafe and mindboggling obstacles” to get to and from their vehicles and that there were hourlong waits between shuttles and security escorts. As a result, some resorted to hiring taxis to get from the hospital to their cars.
On Tuesday, Paul Onufer, the hospital’s vice president of system operations, said in a memo to employees that the hospital would be beefing up security by increasing security patrols in parking structures, increasing officer presence outside buildings, updating security technology, and replacing cameras.
Onufer also encouraged all employees to call for an escort to their vehicles but said to be prepared to wait.
“Note that, as a result of recent events, we are experiencing significant increases in requests for escorts and we may experience some longer wait times,” he said.
Representatives for M Health Fairview said Southdale Hospital employees rarely use the escort program, citing just eight requests in the last year.
According to FBI data from 2018, parking garages are the third most common place for assaults, abductions and homicides.