Virginia Hospital Shooting: Armed Prisoner in Manhunt Believed to Have … – ABC News

PHOTO: Wossen Assaye escaped from custody in Falls Church, Va. March 31, 2015.

Police believe a convict who escaped from a Virginia hospital this morning may have switched cars after finding one vehicle they were looking for — but not the suspect himself.

“The Toyota Camry w/VA tags: XZP-8513 has been located,” Fairfax County Police in Virginia said via Twitter. “The suspect is still at large and we are continuing the search.”

Police now believe the escaped prisoner, identified as Wossen Assaye, may be in a 2008 gray Hyundai Elantra with Virginia plates XTU-5024.

Inova Fairfax Hospital, located in the city of Falls Church, Virginia, less than 10 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. was placed on lockdown this morning after Assaye escaped from custody, authorities said.

Assaye overpowered a private security guard and took the guard’s gun, Fairfax County Police said. Police said Assaye had been taken to the hospital for medical treatment after attempting to harm himself.

A struggle broke out between the private security guard and Assaye, and one shot was fired, but no one was injured, police said. The suspect, who was wearing a hospital gown and no shoes, is considered armed and dangerous.

Authorities released a photo of the suspect’s girlfriend, stating that Assaye may be with her.

Authorities said Assaye escaped by carjacking the 2002 silver Toyota Camry they located later in the morning, police said.

According to a court complaint, Assaye was accused in a string of bank robberies in eastern Virginia between October 2013 and March 20, 2015. In each situation, authorities say, the perpetrator entered the bank — often with a cell phone to his ear — either displayed a handgun or demand note, and verbally demanded money.

PHOTO: Fairfax County police stand guard at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where a prisoner wrestled with a guard before breaking free and fleeing with a gun, March 31, 2015, in Falls Church, Va.

Assaye had a criminal history, with convictions for multiple burglary and robbery offenses in 1998 and 1999, and served time in prison between 2000 and May 2013, according to the complaint.

A heavy police presence was reported near the hospital, and police vehicles were seen blocking the hospital’s entrances during the search for the prisoner. Hospital employees were being sent to a nearby high school, and a shuttle bus was carrying the employees to work during the lockdown, police said.

Fairfax County Police Second Lt. Brooke Wright said multiple law enforcement bodies — including the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and state police — are helping with the search.

“We don’t believe that he has gone far,” Wright said.

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