Man found slain at Suburban Hospital identified as worker there

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 3, 2011; 6:42 AM

The man found slain Saturday at Suburban Hospital was identified Sunday as a 40-year-old lead building engineer in the hospital's plant operations department.

Montgomery County police and hospital officials identified him as Roosevelt Brockington Jr. of Lusby.

He had worked at Suburban for more than four years and was responsible for operating and maintaining the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. He was found in what the hospital described as a "non-patient care area of the hospital."

Police gave no information Sunday about any motive in the attack, which prompted a room-by-room search of the hospital and caused it to be placed temporarily on lockdown.

No description of a suspect was available late Sunday.

Also unavailable was official information about how Brockington was killed. However, a family source said it was understood that he had been stabbed three times.

In a news release Sunday, the police said he had suffered "trauma to his upper body" but provided no additional details.

Police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said that the investigation into Brockington's death was "very active" but that "there are a lot of particulars we are unable to confirm at this time."

Police said that about 10:29 a.m. Saturday, they received a report of an assault at the hospital, in the 8600 block of Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda.

They said the victim was found unresponsive.

"Despite the heroic efforts of the hospital's emergency response team, attempts to resuscitate" Brockington "were not successful," the hospital said.

Brockington "was a wonderful man," his mother, Mary Brockington, said in an interview Sunday night.

An uncle, Bishop Emerson L. Brockington, said the victim grew up in the Washington area and spent much of his early life in the District.

"He was a good-hearted individual who would help and do whatever he could," the uncle said. He said Roosevelt Brockington was a deacon and a trustee at a church in the 1300 block of H Street NE, where he worshiped regularly.

Although Saturday was New Year's Day, Brockington was at work because of the nature of his job, his uncle said, describing him as someone who recognized the need "to keep the heat and air [conditioning] on." There were 140 patients in the hospital Saturday, an official said.

Police declined to specify the area of the hospital in which Brockington was found. How-ever, family members and other sources indicated that it was in the boiler area.

The hospital said it could release only limited information because of the police investigation, and Baur said police were unwilling to release certain details that might have "a negative impact" on the probe.

After the attack, police said they placed the hospital on lockdown while conducting a search of the facility and the grounds. People requiring treatment were diverted to other hospitals at the time, police said.

As part of the search, officers entered each room, a witness said, and asked for driver's licenses or other photo identification from visitors. Copies were made of the items.

At the same time, the witness said, doctors and nurses made their rounds and meals were served to patients.

After the conclusion of the search, the hospital was cleared to reopen for full service about 2:25 p.m., police said.

"He was a colleague," hospital spokeswoman Ronna Borenstein said of Brockington in an interview. "We are very saddened by his loss."

In the statement released Sunday, the hospital said it was fully operational and open to patients and visitors.

Police asked anyone with information to call 240-773-5070. Officers said those who want to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Police said it was the year's first homicide in Montgomery. Last year, police said they investigated 17 homicides.

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