Armed Prisoner Escapes Virginia Hospital

Early Tuesday morning, a prisoner escaped from a hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, where shots were fired, police said. According to Fairfax County Police, Wossen Assaye escaped from Inova Fairfax Hospital at around 4 a.m. local time while in the custody of a private security guard. Police said Assaye took the security officer's weapon, and shots were fired, though it is initially unknown who fired the shots or whether anyone was injured.

A manhunt is currently underway for Assaye, who is considered armed and dangerous. Assaye is being described as a black male, 6 feet tall, and weighing 170 pounds. He was last seen in a hospital gown and wearing no shoes. Authorities are asking people who see a man matching the description to stay indoors and immediately call (703) 691-2131.

NBC Washington reports that police initially were investigating an "active shooter situation." Authorities are now treating the case as an "escaped prisoner armed with a gun." The hospital, located roughly 10 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., has been put on lockdown, and police are searching the surrounding parking lot and area. Hospital employees scheduled to work are being directed to a nearby high school, where a shuttle bus will take them to Inova, police said.