BALTIMORE - A man who became distraught as he was being briefed on his mother's condition by a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital pulled a gun and shot the doctor yesterday, then killed his mother and himself in her room, police said.
Paul Warren Pardus, 50, had been listening to the surgeon around midday when he "became emotionally distraught and reacted . . . and was overwhelmed by the news of his mother's condition," Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said. Pardus pulled a semiautomatic gun from his waistband and shot the doctor once, Bealefeld said.
The doctor, identified as orthopedic surgeon David B. Cohen, collapsed outside the eighth-floor room where Pardus' mother, Jean Davis, was being treated. He underwent surgery for a wound in the abdomen and was expected to survive.
Pardus holed up in the room in a more than two-hour standoff that led authorities to lock down a small section of the Nelson Building, the main hospital tower, while allowing the rest of the sprawling red-brick medical complex to remain open.
When officers made their way to the room, they found Pardus and his mother shot to death, he on the floor, she in her bed.
Bealefeld said he did not know what the woman was being treated for at Hopkins, a world-class institution widely known for its cancer research and treatment. It is part of Johns Hopkins University, which has one of the foremost medical schools in the world.
Harry Koffenberger, vice president of security, said the hospital uses handheld metal detectors to screen patients and visitors known to be high-risk. However, with 80 entrances and 80,000 visitors a week, it is not realistic to place metal detectors and guards everywhere.
Pardus was from Arlington, Va., and had a handgun permit in that state, police said.