Slain Western Psych worker identified

Police consider releasing post-mortem photo of unidentified gunman to learn his name


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The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the man killed in Thursday's shootings at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC.

Michael Schaab, 25, of Edgewood, was pronounced dead at the clinic at 3 p.m., about 80 minutes after the shootings occurred.

His aunt, Lynn Daum of Monroeville, said this morning that he was a therapist who worked with elderly patients at Western Psych.

She said Mr. Schaab had worked there since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and that he was going back to school to work on a master's degree in occupational therapy.

Ms. Daum said she and Mr. Schaab's parents, Harry and Mary Schaab of Greensburg, don't believe the shooter knew Michael, but they haven't heard anything from UPMC and little from the police.

"UPMC hasn't called," she said. "We thought they might have, just out of courtesy."

Pittsburgh police this afternoon identified the gunman as John Shick, 30, of Oakland.

Ms. Daum said the Schaabs got a knock on their door at 10:40 p.m. Thursday and found a state trooper on their stoop who delivered the bad news.

"We knew from the news that they were notifying families of people who had been injured, so when we weren't contacted, we thought he was OK," Ms. Daum said. "Maybe his cell phone had died and he couldn't call us."

Ms. Daum said the family believes Michael, a Greensburg Central Catholic High School graduate, was returning to work from a break when he was killed.

"He had been talking to his mom during his break. Mikey was getting married, and they were talking about the ring and things like that," she said.

Mr. Schaab had met Megan Shively, 25, at Western Psych and they planned to marry next March. She now is a registered nurse at UPMC Presbyterian, Ms. Daum said, adding, "She is devastated."

Michael's sister, Nancy, 26, was killed during a domestic dispute in October 2010. Her boyfriend, Jordan Just, 29, pleaded guilty last year to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting and was sentenced to six to 15 years in prison.

They were the family's only two children.

"Oh, we just don't believe this," Ms. Daum said of the family's double tragedy.

"We are a very close family. We get together for vacations, for the holidays, just for dinner ... anything," she said, her voice trailing off into a soft sob.

Injured expected to survive

UPMC Presbyterian officials this morning said that one of the five patients treated for gunshot wounds has been ugraded to good condition.

The hospital said the condtions of the patients are:

• Kathryn Leight, 64, of Shaler, a receptionist at the hospital who received four gunshot wounds, serious

• 46-year-old male, fair.

• 54-year-old female, good.

• 35-year-old male, fair.

• 49-year-old male, serious.

University of Pittsburgh refuses comment

University of Pittsburgh spokesman Robert Hill declined to talk about how Pitt notified its community of the shooting Thursday. Pitt is on spring break this week.

"The city police have announced an ongoing investigation into the incident. Obviously Pitt is cooperating with that investigation. While the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to give you anything about any aspect of it at this point," he said.

Asked how information about the university's notification system would tie into the investigation, Mr. Hill said, "It's all tied up with that at this point. We're going to withhold an interview at this juncture."

While it does not mention any particular event, the university's website describes an "emergency notification system" that is "used to communicate with subscribers through voice, text and email messages, as deemed appropriate in the event of an emergency."

It says that all Pitt students, faculty and staff may subscribe and designate up to three contact numbers and specify text or voice messages.

It says this system is for portable devices and is "only one aspect of a layered approach to notifying the University community of emergencies."

Also today, Elizabeth Concordia, UPMC executive vice president and president of UPMC Hospital and Community Services, released this statement to employees:

"The safety and well-being of our patients and staff always have been and continue to be of utmost importance. UPMC's facilities treat thousands of patients, receive thousands of visitors and employ tens of thousands of professionals.

"While UPMC's current security measures are in line with the standards nationwide, all procedures are being rigorously reviewed. The trade-off between public access and security is an issue all hospitals in major metropolitan areas have struggled with in recent years. Unfortunately, random acts of violence can't be predicted. In addition, we are providing comprehensive support and counseling to our employees and co-workers of the victims."


Tom Birdsong: tbirdsong@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3068. Sadie Gurman: sgurman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878. First Published March 9, 2012 1:00 PM


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