PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A certified nursing assistant was killed by a coworker inside Jefferson University Hospital early Monday morning. More gunfire then followed when the suspect got into a gun battle with police in Parkside.
Two officers and the suspect were shot before the suspect could be arrested.READ MORE: 16-Year-Old Ahjaon Jackson Shot, Killed While Coming Home From Work With Twin Sister, Philadelphia Police Say
The assistant district attorney says the suspect and the victim knew each other and were friends, but a motive is still unknown.
The victim has been identified as 43-year-old Anrae James. His father says his son was a good man and the world needs more of him. He also had a strong message for the shooter.
“My son was only doing what everybody do, go to work, mind his business, and was killed,” said William James, the victim’s father.
William James is showing strength in his family’s darkest days. He spoke to Eyewitness News about his son, Anrae James, who investigators say was shot and killed by a coworker inside Jefferson University Hospital just after midnight.
William James says his son was a certified nursing assistant and above all, a husband and father to three.
“My grandson got a football game supposed to be the week coming and he don’t have no father to be there with him, practice, none of that. I’m devastated,” he said. “I just hope we can get some kind of justice somewhere for his wife and his children.”
Investigators say Anrae and the suspect knew each other. A police source identified the suspect as 55-year-old Stacey Hayes, saying he was wearing scrubs and was armed when he walked into the hospital.
“We do believe that that other employee was targeted, but the reason why is unclear,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
Just after the shooting, officers say the suspect drove off in a U-Haul truck. Police found him at Parkside Avenue in West Philadelphia, waving a rifle around 1:30 in the morning. That’s when a shootout happened.
Police shot the accused gunman twice, but not before he injured two officers.
William James has some strong words for the man who killed his son.
“Coward, that’s what I call him. I hope he get his just due because he took away my son. That was my son,” he said.
As the James family searches for answers, they are trying to remember the joy that Anrae brought to their lives.READ MORE: Doctor Accused Of Hoarding Dead Kittens In Her Freezer
“In a perfect world, you think bad things only happen to bad people. Unfortunately, it seems like some of the worst things happen to the best people,” cousin Khaleel Dugan said.
For the second time in a week, a man walked into his workplace in Philadelphia and didn’t make it home to his family.
“I was like in total shock and I still am. It’s like, I can’t believe it. It’s very saddening, it’s very hard to take that,” nurse and Elkins Park resident Sandra Carter said.
“It’s very frightening to me because I know that I have concerns about it because people walk in and out the hospital. And I know security is there, but I do have a lot of concerns about things like that happening,” Carter said.
Surveillance video obtained by Eyewitness News shows officers on James Street around 2 a.m. Monday, nearly two hours after the shooting.
“I heard her saying, ‘Oh God no, oh God no,’ and I heard the officer saying the family’s heading to the hospital,” Knuckles said.
Neighbors say Rae, as they call him, was a good guy who they would often see leaving his home in scrubs.
Jefferson Hospital union held a press conference in reaction to his death but did not take any questions.
“Our victim’s mother is a retiree of our union and his brother is a fellow member at Jefferson as well so want to keep all of them in our thoughts and prayers,” District 1199C NUHHCE President Chris Woods said.
This tragedy comes days after 25-year-old security guard Nassir Day was shot and killed while working in an office building in Logan.
“This year alone, I know we’re over 400 now and this is supposed to be the City of Brotherly Love, where is it? Where is it?” Knuckles said.
Jefferson Hospital released a statement that reads, in part: “Safety and security is a top priority for Jefferson. A thorough review will take place to ensure best practices in our safety protocols for all Jefferson facilities.”
The hospital is offering counseling support for impacted employees and patients. They say they will continue to work closely with law enforcement during their investigation.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Police Searching For Shafeeq Lewis, Accused Of Fatally Shooting 13-Year-Old Boy On Way To School
CBS3’s Kerri Corrado and Jasmine Payoute contributed to this report.