Hospital shooting suspect stole car in Monroe during escape attempt, authorities say

Officers took 41-year old Taniel Cole into custody after he crashed on Interstate 20/59 just east of Exit 157 about 9 miles from the Mississippi-Alabama state line.
Officers took 41-year old Taniel Cole into custody after he crashed on Interstate 20/59 just east of Exit 157 about 9 miles from the Mississippi-Alabama state line.(WTOK)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 3:14 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Authorities have released further information on a shooting in a Shreveport Pediatric Intensive Care Unit that turned into a carjacking, and a police chase in Mississippi.

That chase ended in a crash near the Alabama state line and resulted in the arrest of 40-year-old Taniel Cole. Shreveport Police say Cole is the gunman in a shooting inside Ochsner LSU Health - St. Mary Medical Center, just after 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Police led an exhaustive search of the entire facility before the all-clear came about 10:30 a.m. — a full 5 hours later.

Then came KSLA News 12 surveillance footage that police say captured the moments just before Cole allegedly carjacked a woman minutes after the shooting, right behind our station. Authorities say Cole then made her drive to Monroe where he dropped her off and she called for help.

In Monroe, Cole then stole another car, which is the vehicle seen at the crash site hours later in east Mississippi on Interstate 20 near the Alabama state line.

Chris Turner, the U.S Marshal Service Enforcement Supervisor described how authorities actually tracked Cole and waited until they had all the officers needed to make the stop.

“They affected a takedown of his vehicle just west of Meridian, Mississippi. A short vehicle pursuit ensued.”

Turner says Cole then rammed several U.S. Marshal vehicles.

"He was then forced off of the road into the median, refused to exit his vehicle, at which time task force members ported the windows on his vehicle and extricated him from the vehicle and placed him into custody."

Back in Shreveport, one day later, Police Chief Ben Raymond held a news conference on the second floor of police headquarters where he described the nature of he dispute that led to gunfire inside St. Mary Medical Center.

Chief Raymond went on to explain the man shot in the leg was not known to Cole and was likely trying to stop or prevent the dispute.

Because this shooting happened in the pediatric ICU — many have asked how a man with a gun could make it up to what’s supposed to be a secure floor.

Raymond says, “You know this is a one-million-square-foot structure. Now, there are only some limited entrances to it. But I can certainly see the difficulty in trying to ensure that every single person that enters that facility, you know, doesn’t have a weapon on him.”

Mayor Adrian Perkins says hopefully in the future a citizen's tip can help prevent a situation like this from unfolding.

"So, if a community member saw him or heard him talking about, you know, these intentions, I would say that's the only thing, just trying to get ahead of this type of thing before he goes to a hospital to put all those innocent lives in Danger."

Chief Raymond says the gun used in the shooting has not been recovered yet.

He also told us both the man shot in the leg and the woman carjacked behind KSLA are both okay physically. However, emotional recovery typically does not happen overnight.

Chief Raymond made a point of thanking law enforcement on the local, state and federal levels.

"I worked in the special weapons and tactics world for 14 years. And I can tell you the coordinated response, planning and execution during yesterday's incident was second to none."

The police chief also recognized the courage of the men and women who were working at the hospital when shots rang out just after 5:30 Wednesday morning.

“Nurses and staff members, who faced a gun-wielding violent criminal, before immediately recovering from the emotional trauma so they could check on the well-being of their patients and others before officers were even on scene.”

Copyright 2020 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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