Man accused in shooting of Tulane medical student Peter Gold pleads not guilty Tuesday _lowres

Euric Cain

Euric Cain, the man accused of shooting a Tulane University medical student who was trying to stop an apparent abduction and later of raping a man and a woman, was taken to a hospital Sunday after expressing “suicidal thoughts” and “attempting to harm himself in his cell using a sweatshirt,” the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Cain, 21, told a “medical professional” who was making rounds at the city’s new jail about 8:30 a.m. that he was having suicidal thoughts, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. That person notified the designated mental health professional on duty.

“While the mental health team and deputies were preparing to enter the cell, (they were) alerted that inmate Cain was attempting to harm himself in his cell using a sweatshirt,” the release said. It did not explain what he was doing with the sweatshirt.

Mental health and medical personnel attended to Cain, who did not lose consciousness and was taken to University Medical Center “as a precaution,” the release said. There was no word on his status Sunday evening.

The Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the incident.

Cain, 21, was booked three weeks ago on a count of attempted murder in the shooting of “good Samaritan” Peter Gold in the stomach as the medical student tried to intervene in an apparent abduction and armed robbery of a woman in the early morning of Nov. 20 at Magazine and St. Mary streets.

Video surveillance footage showed the gunman tried to shoot Gold in the head several times, but the gun apparently jammed each time. He then drove away.

On Wednesday, police said that 23 hours later, Cain carjacked a couple near Louis Armstrong Park and then raped them in an abandoned building a few miles away. Police said DNA evidence, as well as surveillance video of Cain using one of the rape victims’ credit cards, conclusively linked him to the later crimes.

When Cain was arrested Nov. 23 in the Gold shooting, detectives learned that he was in possession of a 2013 Ford Focus that had been reported stolen.

The couple who had reported the car stolen recounted a horrifying story to the police. As they were entering their vehicle parked near St. Philip and Henriette DeLille streets in Treme about 3 a.m. Nov. 21, they said, a gunman got into the back seat.

He robbed them and then forced them to drive to an abandoned school near the old Desire housing development, they said. There, the gunman raped the woman and forced the man to perform oral sex, according to a warrant. Cain’s DNA matched a sample collected from the female victim, police said.

He was booked Wednesday on two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of carjacking in addition to his earlier counts including attempted first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping.

His total bail stands at more than $7 million.