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Hospital Spokeswoman Briefs Press

Aired October 20, 2002 - 11:50   ET


PAM LEPLEY, HOSPITAL SPOKESWOMAN: ... but he is awake, which is good.

LEPLEY: I can't, but I will tell you that if the -- if it works out with police information in a few hours, we will get his attending physician for you to talk about that.


LEPLEY: Pardon me?


LEPLEY: Not right now.


LEPLEY: His condition really hasn't changed. It remains critical and guarded. It's very, very serious.


LEPLEY: It's a positive sign that he hasn't taken any turn for the worse. This is very serious.

QUESTION: Is he sleeping?

LEPLEY: I don't know. He is awake and responding. I've got to say, he's very heavily sedated, as you would be if you had an injury of that type.


LEPLEY: Probably before.

QUESTION: Still no idea on how close we are to that second surgery?

LEPLEY: We're several -- if it happens, it's several hours away. They will want him to be more stable.

QUESTION: When you say the wound needs to be cleaned, but you were earlier saying he had a lot of internal bleeding. Is that -- one or the other or both? LEPLEY: It's both. When you've got a gunshot wound to the abdomen, you can imagine all -- everything that's inside of you in this area and the potential for infection and bleeding both, so that is, you know, a traumatic situation, and this is what the trauma team is facing with him.

QUESTION: Has his wife been able to communicate with him at all? I know she's been here, right?

LEPLEY: Right. I don't know. I don't know the particulars of their communication. She has been with him the entire time.

QUESTION: Have you seen her?

LEPLEY: I have not personally talked to her, no.

QUESTION: When did he arrive at the hospital and how long did the surgery take? He got in about midnight?

LEPLEY: Right. He arrived at the hospital about 8:30 last night. He went into surgery at 9:00, and came out shortly after midnight.

QUESTION: What about the possibility that there is an X-ray or a sonogram to determine what kind of bullet is involved?

LEPLEY: I don't have the knowledge to tell you that right now. We will -- part of that is going to have to come from the police. As I said, anything about the bullet or the forensic evidence really needs to be discussed by the police.


LEPLEY: OK. Regardless of any bullet, usually additional surgery would be needed of a wound this type because of needing to prevent infection, to control bleeding and to keep the area clean and free from infection. So this is not -- this is not unusual. In this critical condition, you only operate as long as you can without being -- putting the patient at risk for his life.


LEPLEY: Basically, yes. I'm not a physician, so those are layman's terms.


LEPLEY: I can't comment at all about the bullet. I just can't.


LEPLEY: From what I understand, he was -- yeah, healthy 37-year- old man, which is working in his favor right now.


LEPLEY: I can't -- that's all police information.

QUESTION: Are the police still here?

LEPLEY: A representative from the Hanover County Sheriff's Department is here. Majority of the police work, of course, is happening in Ashland.


LEPLEY: It's very likely. I'm not going to say definite because they will not put him through surgery again unless he's stable.

QUESTION: But hours away?

LEPLEY: It is hours away, yeah. Sorry. You have time for a nap if -- anything else?


LEPLEY: I'm sorry?


LEPLEY: I will -- I will try and give you all a lot of notice if we can have the attending physician come down. As I said, we're trying to work in cooperation with the police, and their news conference has been delayed now, what, almost two hours, and I don't have any indication when they're going to have theirs.


LEPLEY: Pardon me?


LEPLEY: I think he will be doing the surgery, too.

QUESTION: Is it the same team, same trauma team from last night?

LEPLEY: I don't know if it's the exact same team, but it will be the same surgeon.

Sorry. OK.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. You've been listen to Pam Lepley. She's the spokesperson for the Medical College of Virginia Hospital at the Virginia Commonwealth University, and she's been updating reporters there on the condition of the 37-year-old man who was shot while in the parking lot of a Ponderosa restaurant in Ashland last night. The hospital where he is being treated is in Richmond. Ashland is about 15 miles north from there, and out of Ashland, we're also waiting for police investigators to release any information as to whether there is indeed a link to the shooting that took place last night in Ashland, and whether it's linked to the 11 shootings that have taken place in the Maryland/D.C. /Virginia area. Our Ed Lavandera is in Ashland, where he too is waiting for that press conference to begin and waiting for any information to be shared with reporters there. And Ed, we noticed earlier that there was a bit of a press conference, not involving the investigators, but a congressman, a Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor, who was there talking to reporters, obviously probably expressing an awful lot of concern, also waiting to find out if indeed there is a connection, right?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he is in the -- the information he was sharing with us was that so far what he's seen to be hard not to believe that it's not connected in some way. The representative will be a guest here on CNN with -- on Wolf Blitzer, "LATE EDITION," coming up here in just a few minutes.

But also congressman sharing -- that we've heard a lot of talk about when the news first broke that the military surveillance would be used helping out in these type of situations once these shooting cases go into effect. And it was the congressman, telling me just a few moments ago, sharing that it was his impression and he's under the understanding that perhaps because we're so far away from the Washington, D.C. area, that the surveillance in that situation would be something that might not have been able to have been used in this particular situation, and I'm sure Wolf will have more to say about that coming up in just a few moments -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And that being the fact, Ed, you're talking about the proximity, you're some 90 miles south of the Washington, D.C. area, and so I understand you making the parallels. If there indeed are surveillance or recognizance planes in the area, they obviously wouldn't be able to get to the area where you are that quickly or be able to do the work that they are able to do.

LAVANDERA: Yeah, and that was the questions that might be arising that this is something that perhaps needs to be expanded. Something to look at, and that's part of the line of questioning that authorities will face now as well, some of these shootings are starting to occur farther and farther away from Washington, D.C., and there are a lot of people who are now starting to wonder just what that might mean.

WHITFIELD: Ed, hold on tight for a second. I want to bring in Carol Costello who is in Montgomery County, Maryland, which is the nucleus of this multi-jurisdictional task force, team of investigators. And Carol, do you have any new information coming out of Montgomery County as we wait for authorities to address reporters there in Ashland?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we do have a bit of new information, but it has nothing to do with this latest shooting. It does have to do with the sniper's last victim, and that is Linda Franklin, 47 years old. We understand her funeral is scheduled for tomorrow at 11:00 at the Mount Olive (ph) United Methodist Church, and she will be buried in Arlington at a ceremony there.

Of course, Linda Franklin was gunned down in Falls Church, Virginia, and that's just about six miles outside of the D.C. area. She was at a Home Depot with her husband. She was walking into the parking lot, and then she was shot and killed.

Again, Linda Franklin's funeral will be tomorrow at the Mount Olive (ph) United Methodist Church at 11:00 in the morning, and of course, I am talking about Eastern time. And that's the latest information from here as we continue to await that press conference -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And, Carol, you talk about Linda Franklin. She was with her husband. If, indeed, this Ashland, Virginia, case is related, it would mean that this could be the second case where it involved a victim who was coupled with someone else, which has been very unusual when the overall scheme of the investigation has revealed that the majority of the victims were individuals in isolated areas, even if at a gas station, which is a public place, or near a shopping center.

COSTELLO: Well, there are a lot of eerie similarities. Both were walking into parking lots. Both parking lots were dimly lit. Don't believe that the sniper, if the sniper was involved in this latest shooting, we don't believe the sniper was very far away, and the sniper chose a spot where he could easily escape. So there are a lot of eerie similarities to those two cases.

WHITFIELD: All right, Carol Costello, from Montgomery County, Maryland, thank you very much.


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