Employee in Critical Condition After Shooting at San Diego Biotech Phamatech

Published: Jun 23, 2017

Employee in Critical Condition After Shooting at San Diego Biotech Phamatech June 21, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

SAN DIEGO – Violence broke out at a Phamatech facility on Tuesday with one employee being shot in the head by a coworker.

According to reports, an as-of-yet unidentified employee pulled a small-caliber pistol and shot a colleague two times in the head. The shooter was quickly subdued and taken into custody by police officers. The victim was lucid when taken to the hospital, but his condition is unknown at this time.

The shooting occurred while industry leaders are gathered this week at the nearby San Diego Convention Center for the annual BIO International convention. While companies are showcasing innovative treatments and pipeline plans to develop drugs that heal, an employee tasked with that challenge opted to injure.

San Diego Police spokesman Charles Lara told the San Diego Union Tribune said the incident appears to be a case of workplace violence. Both shooter and victim are employees, but there is some question as to whether or not the shooter’s employment status had recently changed. A motive for the shooting is unknown at this time, however NBC reported the two men had been arguing .

Phamatech has not issued a statement on the incident.

Phamatech manufactures diagnostic devices and tests for the detection of illegal drugs and alcohol. The devices the company manufactures are for use in both a clinical environment as well as at-home for parents concerned about their children’s possible drug use.

The company also develops pharmacogenetics testing devices, according to its website. The company was the first one to win approval for an at-home drug test by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998. In 2006, the company expanded its testing with Urine Drug Testing (UDT) for the forensic, clinical and criminal justice field, the company said. In 2010, Phamatech again expanded its offerings to include a pain management test to assist clinical monitoring of treatments. In 2014, the company launched its pharmacogenetics testing, which identifies genetic variations that affect drug metabolism in the human body, according to the company website.

The San Diego-based company said it is the only laboratory that manufactures its own on-site testing products in the United States.

Phamatech employees expressed shock at the workplace violence, stressing the relaxed atmosphere around the Carmel Mountain Ranch facility. Hussein Alsawad, a Phamatech employee, told NBC that most of the site employees are “pleasant and relaxed.”

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