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Houston County sheriff's deputies take positions outside Primecare medical center in Dothan on Monday.
AP photo by Jay Hare
Houston County sheriff's deputies take positions outside Primecare medical center in Dothan on Monday.

Dothan standoff ends with arrest
Gunman seizes medical center;
no one harmed

DOTHAN (AP) — A gunman wearing a camouflage helmet took over a small outpatient medical center Monday, sending patients, nurses and doctors fleeing amid reported gunshots, before surrendering to end the 21/2-hour standoff.

Bystanders console each other outside the Primecare building where a gunman sent occupants fleeing.
AP photo by Jay Hare
Bystanders console each other outside the Primecare building where a gunman sent occupants fleeing.
Police said 19-year-old Jason Murphy of Dothan was taken into custody without incident and that no one was injured in the takeover of the Primecare building. When officers entered the building, they found one patient still inside and unharmed, police said.

Dothan police spokesman Sgt. Stacy Robinson said police believe Murphy had a complaint with the medical center, but Robinson did not elaborate.

Building surrounded

Police Chief John Powell earlier said authorities were negotiating with the man in the building, which was surrounded by police and sheriff's officers after the gunman entered at 11:17 a.m. The building is on Westgate Parkway a few miles from the heart of downtown Dothan.

During the standoff, the gunman was photographed wearing a camouflage helmet and holding a rifle with blood on his hands. Initial reports quoted witnesses as saying he wore camouflage clothes, but he was wearing blue jeans and a long-sleeved gray shirt when arrested and in photographs taken during the standoff.

He was led out of the building at 1:47 p.m., police said in a statement.

Trish Griggs, who works at a store near Primecare, said two nurses ran to her building from the medical center when the gunman showed up. "He said he didn't want to hurt the patients," Griggs said the nurses told her. "He asked them all to leave."

Griggs said she could see doctors and other medical staff gathered behind Primecare, The Dothan Eagle reported on its Web site.

Several shots

Martha Pace, who is in a wheelchair, told the newspaper she was in an exam room in the back of the building when she heard several shots fired. She said her husband wheeled her out a back door.

Murphy was being treated at a local hospital for minor cuts on his arms Monday afternoon. It was unclear whether the injuries were self-inflicted or if Murphy received them when he broke some windows at the medical center, Robinson said.

No charges were filed immediately, but Powell said in a statement that Murphy could face criminal counts as the investigation continues.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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