Massillon police said the shooter and victim “Shared a mutual love interest.”
MASSILLON — Massillon police say a local doctor and the man who gunned him down in the parking lot outside Affinity Medical Center Monday afternoon “shared a mutual love interest.”
Dr. George Seese died in the hospital after he was shot by Michael Wood, who also shot and killed himself, according to police, who issued a news release Monday night.
Seese was shot at least twice at close range shortly after 2 p.m. Monday outside Affinity Medical Center while walking to his vehicle by the 50-year-old Wood, who then turned the gun on himself.
“They both had the same love interest, or dated the same girl,” said Detective Jason Gohlike, of the Massillon Police Department. “That’s what the shooting was over.”
Police said Seese, 59, of Dalton, died two or three hours after the incident, however Gohlike was uncertain if he died during or following emergency surgery.
Wood, of the New Philadelphia area, died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, he said.
According to police, both Seese and Wood were on the ground with gunshot wounds when officers arrived. Wood had a gun still in his hand. Police believe Wood confronted Seese at his black SUV and shot him, then walked to his own vehicle, which was parked behind the doctor’s SUV, and shot himself.
Wood died in the hospital parking lot along Amherst Road NE at Ertle Avenue NE, according to Police Chief Keith Moser. Both were taken inside the hospital and Seese was rushed into surgery and later died.
Seese was a cardiologist at Stark Medical Specialties, according to his biography on the group’s website. He specialized in general cardiology, stress testing, echocardiograms and critical care medicine. In addition, Seese practiced at a handful of hospitals, including Affinity, Aultman Hospital in Canton, Union Hospital in Dover and Aultman-Orrville Hospital.
Neighbors hear gunshots
Affinity Medical Center and Washington High School initiated precautionary measures by going on lockdown when the shooting started.
Susan Koosh, an Affinity spokeswoman, said normal operations at the hospital resumed after a “lockdown for a period of time.” She said Affinity employees worked swiftly to help safeguard patients and each other after shots were heard outside the facility.
“Our staff throughout the facility quickly responded to this incident by ... safeguarding patients and visitors to the best of their ability,” Koosh said via email. “We conduct regular drills to prepare for events such as today’s unfortunate situation.”
Koosh declined to comment further on the shooting, citing an ongoing police investigation.
A man who lives a few houses down from the hospital on Ertle Avenue NE said he heard gunfire — about four consecutive shots, a pause, then about two more shots — just after 2 p.m. The man, who did not want to be identified, said he didn’t see or hear anything after that because he went back into his house to take cover.
Courtney Hillard, of Jackson Township, was waiting in the emergency room when an alarm went off because of an active shooter outside the building. Hillard was told to lock herself into a nearby room with her son and her cousin. They were hiding behind a bed on the floor of a hospital room for nearly an hour. She was told it was safe to come out of the room around 3 p.m.
Massillon City Schools tweeted that the school was under lockdown after being notified by police of a nearby danger. The all clear was given a short time later.
City police officers and detectives were outside the hospital for hours Monday afternoon, and had the area blocked off with yellow police caution tape.
Officers and detectives identified bullet casings on the asphalt near the doctor’s vehicle. At least six casings were circled with chalk.
Police had cleared the scene by about 5 p.m. Monday.