Just after 11 p.m., security at the hospital reported that a staff member had heard a gunshot near an elevator. Hospital security found blood and a shell casing in the elevator, which caused the hospital to go on lockdown as officers cleared the building.
The lockdown was lifted when surveillance footage confirmed that the involved people left the hospital and drove off.
No patients were reported injured.
It appears those involved were visiting the hospital. A shooting victim was not located.
In a statement, Kelly Campbell, Division VP, Marketing & Communications for Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, said:
"On Friday, December 16, an altercation occurred between visitors in the elevator of the main tower at St. Joseph Medical Center. During the course of the altercation, a firearm discharged. Security personnel and the Tacoma Police Department responded and the campus was placed on a brief lockdown. We are working closely with the Tacoma Police Department and actively assisting with their investigation. We’re thankful for the quick response of our security team and law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and guests. Our clinical care teams followed all protocols and ensured a safe environment during the lockdown."
The investigation is ongoing.