Beloved veterinarian shot on Light Street leading to school lockdown in Federal Hill

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BALTIMORE– A beloved veterinarian was shot inside the Light Street Animal Hospital on Monday morning, according to those who know the victim.

After evacuating homes and businesses and locking down an elementary school less than one block away, police were able to take the suspect into custody.

“It is a family incident between two relatives who got into some type of dispute. One individual produced a gun and shot the other one,” said Col. Richard Worley of the Baltimore Police Department. “We were able to get them out luckily by the brave work of the fire department and Baltimore City officers who went in even though the suspect was still inside the house with weapons.”

lots of heavily armed officers; Barricade situation continues after shooting on Light Street @wjz

— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) August 29, 2022

The shooting happened just after 9 am heavily armed officers descended on the 1600 block of Light Street. Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle School was placed on lockdown on the first day of the school year as a precaution.

“It’s scary because the school is right next door. I can’t imagine what those parents are going through,” said Steven Rigby, who lives nearby, as he watched the response.

Police did not formally identify the victim, but multiple people who know him said veterinarian Dr. John Trujillo — known as “Doctor T” — was wounded.

His brother shot him in the leg then barricaded himself on the top floor of the building that houses the Light Street Animal Hospital, they said.

“He was supposed to be evicted. It was a problem between the brothers. So I guess he took it out on him today,” said David Peters, who knows Dr. Trujillo.

Al Melaragno’s granddaughter is a veterinary tech at the animal hospital.

“By the time I got there and opened the door, I just yelled for my granddaughter and she said she was OK, everybody was OK, that Dr. T was shot and the police came up and told us we had to get out of the building,” Melagrano said. “He was evicting his brother, and he had like two days left in the building so I guess he was upset about being thrown out of the building.”

As the tense situation unfolded, police pushed people back and filled the streets surrounding the animal hospital. It took about three hours before the suspect surrendered.

“While the officers were evacuating the victim, the employees were able to get themselves out as well as all of the animals,” Worley said.

In a message to customers, the animal hospital wrote appointments will be canceled until further notice but staff would be on hand for them to pick up food and medicine starting Tuesday morning.

A message from the Light Street Animal Hospital to customers after the domestic shooting there this morning. @wjz

— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) August 29, 2022

Police said Doctor Trujillo’s injuries are not life-threatening.

“I just hope that all of the techs that work there and Dr. T are able to get over this and get past it because they do a great service to this neighborhood,” said Molly Furmage, who takes her pet to Dr. Trujillo. “It’s pretty scary to know something this crazy is going on. It’s such a nice neighborhood. There are so many families. There are hundreds of people walking on this street every day, walking their dogs, their babies. It’s just crazy.”

Mike Hellgren