Hostage situation at doctor's office ends with gunman dead

EUCLID, Ohio - A hostage situation at a medical office building in northeast Ohio ended with the gunman dead, 19 Action News was first to report.

Minutes after the tense situation reached its climax, a paramedic confirmed to 19 Action News that the man was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. His hostage, a woman believed to be his ex-girlfriend, was able to escape unharmed.

The man has been identified as Timothy Baker, 28, of Cleveland. Authorities said that Baker was attempting to force reconciliation with the woman.

The Euclid Office Plaza at 26250 Euclid Avenue, a nine-story building, was evacuated just before 9 a.m. The building (pictured, right) was on lockdown for more than an hour. However, at approximately 10:20 a.m., the more than 100 people who were forced out of the building were allowed to re-enter.

19 Action News was first to learn that the weapon-wielding Baker was the jilted lover of an employee working at a third-floor chiropractor's office. The woman was either a receptionist or nurse.

A man with whom 19 Action News talked said that he was waiting in line when the ex-boyfriend first approached. According to the witness, chiropractor Jim Cooper unsuccessfully attempted to disarm Baker before the gunman allowed everybody except his ex-girlfriend to exit the office.

Cooper told 19 Action News that the gunman confronted him in his chiropractic office and briefly held him and several patients hostage, eventually ordering them out.

At one point, Cooper said, "I grabbed his wrist and tried to grab the gun," but the man pushed him away.

Cooper said that the woman had obtained a court order last week to keep the man away from her. "He has hurt her in the past," Cooper said.

The couple reportedly had a long history of domestic violence.

A police official said that a hostage negotiator talked by phone with Baker for nearly an hour before he shot himself in the head.