Armed patient surrenders after barricading himself at Broward Health Medical Center

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A knife-wielding patient peacefully surrendered himself to authorities after he barricaded himself at Broward Health Medical Center, Wednesday evening.

Fort Lauderdale Police responded to the hospital, located in the area of South Andrews and 17th Street.

Police said the disturbance began at around 4:45 p.m., when a 38-year-old patient with a knife threatened to hurt himself and then barricaded himself inside a room.

Hospital staff immediately called police.

“It got a little scary. I got a little scared, but they told us we were safe,” said witness Carmoleta McCloud, who was at the hospital to visit her son at the time of the incident.

Authorities evacuated the fifth floor of the center’s south tower, where the man was located.

“They came into my son’s room with guns, and they were looking across at where he was at,” said witness Jill Wright, who was also visiting her son at the time. “They were looking out of my son’s window with their M-whatevers, you know? Scoping out.”

7SkyForce hovered over the scene, where squad cars and a tactical operations command truck were parked at the main entrance of the medical center.

“If you can avoid coming to the hospital at this point just to visit family members, we recommend that you do,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Tracy Figone. “Call first. The hospital will inform you as to maybe the area that you’re wanting to visit, but of course the emergency room, the hospital is operating.”

A SWAT team was also on the scene to negotiate with the patient. Crisis negotiators communicated with the subject over the phone, but officials said he had initially refused to cooperate.

According to a witness, the subject’s mother was also at the hospital and tried to negotiate with him.

“He has not informed us of why he’s doing this, we just know that he barricaded himself inside of the room on the fifth floor, and that floor has been evacuated,” said Figone. “The hospital is only evacuated on the fifth floor. He is contained on the fifth floor, and our SWAT members are on the fifth floor. Everything is contained to that one floor.”

According to officials, after two hours of negotiating, the patient peacefully surrendered himself and was detained at around 7 p.m.

The patient was taken in for psychiatric evaluation.

There were no hostages, and the subject suffered superficial injuries, officials said.

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