What to Know
- The fugitive suspected of shooting at police officers at a hospital in Ellenville, NY, has been captured in Brooklyn, police say
- Joshua Stuart, 42, was caught behind a Whole Foods supermarket in Brooklyn after a chase, officials and witnesses say
- He'd been spotted around in Brooklyn over the weekend, and allegedly tried to rob a store clerk in the borough Monday
The fugitive suspect wanted for an upstate New York hospital shooting who fled to Brooklyn and allegedly tried to rob a store clerk at gunpoint has been captured.
Joshua Stuart, 42, described as "armed and dangerous," was caught behind a Whole Foods supermarket on Third Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues, hours after his robbery attempt in another part of Brooklyn nearby, sources said. A Whole Foods worker told News 4 that a security guard spotted Stuart and called police, and after a brief foot chase, Stuart was arrested by members of the NY/NJ U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force and the NYPD.
"He was full speed, he was running for his life" in the Whole Foods parking lot, said a witness who asked to remain anonymous. Stuart then leaped into the Gowanus Canal, according to the witness.
"He jumps into the water, so as soon as he jumps in, the cops go after him and pretty much gets him right away," said the witness.
Police would not confirm they caught him in the canal, but Stuart's pants appeared to be wet as the task force walked off with him.
Police said they did recover a gun, and no one was hurt.
Stuart is charged with robbery, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to police. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Stuart had been on the run since the hospital shooting in Ellenville Friday, and was spotted over the weekend in the Sunset Park and Flatbush neighborhoods, the NYPD said. Police found an SUV he was driving 44th Street in Brooklyn, and then shortly before 9 a.m. Monday, he went into a store on Third Avenue, flashed a gun at a 29-year-old worker and stole the man's wallet, which had $50 and a credit card, according to police. He drove off in a gray Honda pilot.
A false sighting report of Stuart inside Coney Island Hospital Monday afternoon prompted a brief scare and evacuation, but the hospital was quickly cleared as safe once authorities determined it was a false alarm.
Stuart is accused of shooting at several police officers Ellenville Regional Hospital early Friday, New York State Police and the NYPD said. No one was injured in the shooting.
Ellenville is about 90 miles northwest of New York City.
Stuart has previously been arrested in a pharmacy robbery, state police said. It wasn't immediately clear whether weapons were involved in that robbery or whether he was convicted.
In a statement Friday, the hospital said protocol was followed and it was "grateful to our staff who acted in a professional, calm manner."
"We understand this is a traumatic situation for all. A crisis support team has been deployed from the County and from the Family Practice Center next door for our staff," the statement said. "Safety and security are our priority and we would like to thank everyone for their response and support of our patients, families and staff today and every day."