Pelham woman killed in UAB Highlands shooting

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Pelham resident, 63-year-old Nancy Turnage Swift, has been identified as one of the victims in a workplace shooting that took place at UAB Highlands on Wednesday, March 14.

Nancy Swift

Swift was a longtime nursing supervisor at the hospital who was killed by a disgruntled employee, identified as 31-year-old Trevis Devon Coleman. Another employee, 28-year-old Timothy Isley, was also shot during the incident, but survived and is in stable condition. After shooting Swift and Isley, Coleman reportedly committed suicide.

During a news press conference, Birmingham Police Department’s Public Information Officer Lt. Peter Williston said it has been determined that an employee relations issue led to the shooting, but did not specify what happened in the moments leading up to the shooting.

Williston said the incident took place in an office space and that there appeared to be no other threat to anyone else during the incident. He said the shooting is still under investigation to find out more about what happened.

“Any death along these lines is tragic, whether it takes place on the street or in a facility like this,” Williston said. “A death along these lines is tragic, not only to the families but to the community itself.”

UAB Hospital Senior Vice President Anthony Patterson referred to the incident as a “horrific tragedy” and said that counseling services have been made available to those who may need it.

“This is a sad day for Birmingham and for UAB,” Patterson said. “We lost a colleague and a friend last night. First, I want to offer my sincere condolences to the victims that have suffered and to the families, friends and colleagues are who are grieving this senseless loss of life and injury.”

Although he knows that everyone wants to know what happened, Patterson said it’s also important to respect the privacy of the victims and their families. He added that he is limited in what he can say due to ongoing investigations and federal laws that protect patient privacy.

In regards to security at the hospital, metal detectors were in use at the hospital at the time of the incident. Patterson said there are “extensive safety protocols” in place as well as 24-hour police presence at the hospital. He said he could not disclose other security measures in the interest of safety.

Williston said it’s mandatory that all Birmingham officers are trained in active shooter response.

“All officers that responded acted accordingly and within their training guidelines,” Williston said.

Williston said the protocol for an active shooter situation “is that we don’t wait, we go in.”

“If we can go in as a team that’s how we prefer to do it,” he said. “The officers that arrived on the scene did not hesitate. They immediately responded to the threat as it was perceived.”