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Police officers shot an armed man inside a mental health facility after he stabbed several people and put down his knife but refused to drop his gun while his victims were bleeding badly, authorities said. Seven people were taken to hospitals, including the man and at least four stabbing victims, Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs said. It was unclear if any injuries were life-threatening after the yesterday afternoon attack at Turtle Creek Valley Mental Health/Mental Retardation in Homestead, just southeast of Pittsburgh.
Police implored 38-year-old Dustin Johnson to drop his gun or be shot based on texts from inside that the victims were bleeding profusely and needed help, Downs said. Johnson dropped his knife but not the gun before he was shot, she said.
Employee C J Fulton told WTAE-TV that the man complained that a stay at the facility had “ruined” his life. There was no telephone number listed for Johnson, who was conscious when he was taken to a hospital for treatment, Downs said.
Johnson apparently gained entry to the secure facility before attacking people on the fifth floor, authorities said.
“He started talking to us regularly,” Fulton told the TV station. “Next thing you know he pulled a gun.”
Fulton said Johnson was angry from something that happened when he was staying at the facility.
“He just started saying, ‘You ruined my life,’ … then he proceeded to stab individuals and assault individuals,” Fulton said.
The center says it provides care and support for people and communities dealing with behavioral, mental health, substance abuse and developmental issues. Its executive director, Fran Sheedy Bost, described yesterday’s incident as a “hostage situation.”