A maternity ward in Oregon is the scene of fatal gunfire

Jul 24, 2023, 5:44 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gunfire erupted in a maternity unit of an Oregon hospital over the weekend, fatally wounding an unarmed security guard and leading to renewed calls Monday to protect health care workers from increasing violence.

Gun violence in America has hit supermarkets, churches, a synagogue, schools — and now a birthing center.

Police were summoned Saturday morning to Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland, with callers reporting that a man with a gun was threatening hospital workers, Portland Police Sgt. Kevin Allen said. By the time the officers arrived, shots had been fired and security guard Bobby Smallwood lay mortally wounded. Another hospital staffer was hit by fragments.

Police feared the worst.

“Officers believed this had the possibility of being an active shooter incident, so they converged on the hospital from all corners of Portland in a full-city response to address the shooter, assist with a possible mass casualty event, and evacuate those in harm’s way,” the Portland Police Bureau said Monday in a statement.

Workers and patients were told to shelter in place as officers searched for the shooter. He was located hours later in a van in suburban Gresham and was fatally shot by three Portland police officers, the PPB said. No details on that confrontation were released.

Smallwood, who was 44 and originally from Florida, was attended to by staff and then taken to another hospital with the highest-level trauma care, where he died.

“Please pray for my family as we lost my cousin Bobby Smallwood yesterday as he was protecting the birthing center at a hospital,” his cousin Rachel Milligan Moreno, from Brandon, Florida, wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “Our hearts are broken.”

The gunman’s name was PoniaX Kane Calles, a 33-year-old who previously went by the name Reginald Kane Jackson, KPTV, a Portland TV station, reported.

Allen told reporters that it is especially tragic that deadly gunfire erupted at Good Sam, as the hospital is known, which he said should be a place of safety. The Oregon Nurses Association said Monday that violence directed at health care workers has increased at an alarming rate.

“It is the responsibility of every health care system and hospital administration in Oregon to do everything in their power to protect the safety of their patients and frontline caregivers,” the union said.

It was the second time this month that a health care worker was killed in the Portland area. On July 16, a resident of a mental health care facility in Gresham allegedly stabbed to death a caregiver who was working the night shift alone.

Legacy Good Samaritan is rated as one of the best in Oregon. A video for the family birth center says patients are given private birthing suites. No alcohol, recreational drugs or firearms are allowed.

“We care deeply about your family’s safety,” the narrator says in the video, which shows a screen with multiple images from security cameras.

When asked Monday about security measures, the hospital declined to describe them, saying in a statement that staffers are “grief-stricken.”

“We are focused on providing factual information to our employees and supporting those deeply impacted by this tragic event,” the statement said, promising to provide additional information later this week.

United States News

Associated Press

Four people charged in the case of 2 women missing from Oklahoma

Four people were arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping over the weekend in connection with the disappearances of two Oklahoma women. Veronica Butler, 27; and Jilian Kelley, 39, of Hugoton, Kansas, were driving through the Oklahoma panhandle to pick up Butler’s children for a March 30 birthday party in Kansas but never showed up. […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Detectives solve 1968 killing of World War II veteran who became milkman, Florida sheriff says

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — More than five decades after a World War II veteran was slain while working as a milkman in Florida, investigators say they’ve solved the case thanks to two people who came forward after the killer died. Hiram “Ross” Grayam was delivering milk in April 1968 and failed to return home […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Gene Herrick, AP photographer who covered the Korean war and civil rights, dies at 97

RICH CREEK, Va. (AP) — Gene Herrick, a retired Associated Press photographer who covered the Korean War and is known for his iconic images of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the trial of the killers of Emmett Till in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement, died Friday. He was 97. In […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Wife of ex-Harvard morgue manager pleads guilty to transporting stolen human remains

WILLIAMSPORT. Pa. (AP) — The wife of a former Harvard Medical School morgue manager has pleaded guilty to a federal charge after investigators said she shipped stolen human body parts — including hands, feet and heads — to buyers. Denise Lodge, 64, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in the […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Shooting at Baltimore mall sends girl, 7, to hospital

BALTIMORE (AP) — A 7-year-old girl was hospitalized Saturday after she was shot at a Baltimore shopping mall. Baltimore police say the girl was shot Saturday afternoon at Mondawmin Mall. According to police, two groups at the mall got into an altercation, and an unidentified male fired a shot as he was running away that […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Chicago shooting kills 8-year-old girl and wounds 10 people including small children, police say

CHICAGO (AP) — Eleven people standing outside a family gathering Saturday night were shot including a young girl who was killed in what Chicago police believe was gang-related violence on the city’s South Side. Four victims were children, police said Sunday. An 8-year-old girl was fatally shot, while a 1-year-old boy and a 8-year-old boy […]

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

A maternity ward in Oregon is the scene of fatal gunfire