Psychiatrist Draws Gun in Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital and Shoots the Mental Health Patient who Killed his Caseworker by Shooting Her in the Face. Witnesses near the scene reported hearing screaming and gunfire, as suspect and mental health patient Richard Plotts confronted his caseworker, Theresa Hunt, and then drew his gun, and killed her. Another bullet grazed a doctor, adjacent to the scene, but the doctor had a gun of his own, and he shot Plotts 3 times in the torso.
The doctor, identified as Lee Silverman, was treated was treated for a head wound and released after being taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The shooter, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, who had a long criminal record, was undergoing surgery Thursday night at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. If he survives, he will be charged Friday with murder, said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.
There is a Lesson Here — KEEP POTENTIAL SHOOTERS WITH WEAPONS OUT OF HOSPITALS.
A is for Access Control! Once a potential shooter brings a weapon into a hospital, everything is much more difficult to control. Keep them out.
Weapons should be checked at the hospital entry points and no-weapons signage should clearly indicate that weapons are not allowed, and that should be followed up with either stand-alone, or wand metal detectors which give staff members a initial level of protection.
Bernice Ho, a spokeswoman for Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, said Thursday it was against hospital policy for anyone other than security guards to carry weapons, so there are questions about why this doctor disregarded the policy, although Donald Molineux, chief of the Yeadon Police Department, said “If Silverman returned fire and wounded Plotts, he without a doubt saved lives.”
District Attorney Whelan described how the meeting among Plotts, Silverman, and Hunt abruptly took a violent turn. Plotts and Hunt went to Silverman’s third-floor office shortly before 2:30 p.m., Whelan said. Plotts was apparently armed, and people near the room soon heard shouting.
Concerned, a hospital employee “actually opened the door, saw him pointing a gun at the doctor,” Whelan said. The worker shut the door quietly and immediately called 911. Plotts then opened fire. According to Whelan, he shot Hunt two times in the face. The psychiatrist then ducked under his desk, retrieved his gun, and came up shooting, striking Plotts three times.
Keep Weapons Out of the Hospital to Dramatically Reduce Violent Incidents!