By LYDIA WARREN
PUBLISHED: 15:39 EST, 13 June 2012 | UPDATED: 18:42 EST, 13 June 2012
- Jacqueline Wisniewski, 33, killed at Erie County Medical Center where she was training to be a nurse
- Hospital went into lockdown as SWAT teams searched for gunman
- Timothy Jorden Jr named as ‘person of interest’ in shooting
- Prominent surgeon and former Army weapons expert still at large
- Sources say he had recently suffered emotional problems
Police were hunting for a prominent trauma surgeon in connection with the fatal shooting of a former girlfriend at the hospital where they both worked.
Timothy V. Jorden Jr, a 49-year-old former Army medic and weapons expert, has eluded authorities since the shooting at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, New York this morning.
The victim Jacqueline Wisniewski, 33, worked as a receptionist at the hospital and was described as a ‘one-time girlfriend’. She has a young son and was training to be a nurse.
Search: Police are hunting for prominent surgeon Timothy V. Jorden Jr. in connection with the fatal shooting of 33-year-old Jacqueline Wisniewski (right)
Witnesses reported hearing four shots just after 8am. Ms Wisniewski was found dead in a covered passageway connecting the Kidney Center and another wing of the hospital, according to ABC.
The shooting prompted a four-hour lockdown of the hospital, as SWAT teams and K-9 units swarmed the campus in an attempt to corner the killer.
Police believe Jorden, who they have named as a ‘person of interest’, could be ‘special weapons trained’ from his time in the Army.
Police have blocked a road leading to Jorden’s home in an isolated area of private Lake View residences near the Lake Erie shore.
SWAT team members in camouflage arrived in unmarked SUVs and say he may be armed and dangerous. Officers had obtained a warrant and were using specialized robotic devices to search the home.
While many have described him as a popular surgeon, sources told the Buffalo News that he has recently suffered some emotional problems, but did not go into further detail.
Hunt: The hospital went into lock down as officers – on the ground and in the air – searched for the gunman
Lockdown: SWAT teams swarmed the 65-acre campus but the gunman has not yet been found
It is believed he is married; in 1996, he appeared in a newspaper interview with his wife and their then eight-year-old son.
A police helicopter and SWAT team members in camouflage surrounded his home on West Arnold Drive in Lakeview, blocking off access to the road.
‘Person of interest’: Surgeon Timothy Jorden was said to have been suffering from emotional problems
But at a news conference on Thursday morning, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said no residents, hospital staff or patients are in danger.
There have been conflicting reports about where exactly the shooting took place, with some saying it occurred in a covered walkway between buildings, while others said it took place in a stairwell.
Officials said as many as 400 patients and about half of the hospital’s 2,000 employees were on the grounds at the time.
‘The SWAT Team is in control of the situation,’ Buffalo police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said during a news conference after the shooting. ‘It is an active situation.’
The hospital also diverted emergency room patients to Buffalo General Hospital but most of the campus re-opened at 2 p.m.
‘Normally this is very safe,’ hospital volunteer Lois Peterson told the Buffalo News. ‘I’ve volunteered here for 42 years. But this is tragic.’
Police described Jorden as a bald, black male, about 6ft 2 and 250 pounds, and showed his photograph at check points in the search for tips.
Law enforcement: Authorities, who also swarmed Jorden’s home, said the shooting was ‘not a random act’
Police presence: Officers hand out photographs of Jorden, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the crime
Patrol: Staff and patients were refused entry to the hospital over a four-hour period
Authorities also described the four vehicles – two GMC Sierra pickups, a Cadillac and a Chevrolet Cobalt – all registered in his name.
After completing high school, Jorden joined the Army and served with the Army’s Special Forces, as a weapons expert then as a medic. He was on active duty in the Caribbean, Japan and Korea.
Jorden has been licensed to practice medicine in New York since 2002 and treats patients at the medical center and other major hospitals in the area.
‘I’ve wanted to be a doctor since early in my military career as a medic,’ Jorden told the Buffalo News in a 1996 profile, which featured pictures of his wife and their son.
He received his certification from the American Board of Surgery in 2004. There are no legal actions against his license and he has no criminal background.