Multiple people shot in gun battle that extended to hospital

BIRMINGHAM, AL- Early Monday, a violent incident unfolded outside UAB Hospital as several gunshot victims arrived in a private vehicle seeking medical assistance. Eyewitnesses and law enforcement officials reported that a champagne-colored Chevrolet Tahoe drove up to the hospital’s entrance with gunshot victims onboard. The shooting reportedly occurred after a dispute at Aria Restaurant and Lounge, located on the 900 block of Fifth Avenue North.

Around 2:17 a.m., as the SUV arrived at UAB, another vehicle approached and began shooting at the Tahoe. Witnesses recounted hearing numerous gunshots, likening the noise to “iron pipes hitting.” The gunfire struck a UAB police car and a hospital window, prompting immediate action from local law enforcement.

In response to the incident, Birmingham and UAB police officers shut down the area surrounding the emergency room. The hospital was placed on lockdown. UAB officials referred all additional questions to Birmingham police. Birmingham police Officer Truman Fitzgerald at least five people were shot in the initial incident on Fifth Avenue North. Two of those victims – both females – were pronounced dead at the hospital.

According to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, a 33-year-old woman was pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m. and a 24-year-old woman was pronounced dead at 2:55 a.m. Fitzgerald said the two women- who later died- and an injured man were in the SUV that showed up at UAB. The man’s injuries are considered to be life-threatening.

Two other women showed up at the hospital by private vehicle, also with gunshot wounds. Police said at least two suspects fired on the victims when they arrived at the hospital and that they have not yet been arrested.

Dozens of friends and family members were outside of the emergency room. They, too, said they’d been unable to get information about what happened. At about 5:30 a.m., family members of one of the deceased victims became visibly distraught when they were told their loved one had died.