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Shootings in Hospitals



RISKAlert Report Updated:  Jan. 15, 2018

A 46-year old patient, identified as Andrew Merryman, was in a hospital treatment room with his wife on the 14th floor of the Center for Advanced Medicine at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

According to St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Rochelle D. Jones, Merryman pushed his way out of the om and pulled out two pocket knives, she said. As Merryman came down the hall, Jones called security and two officers responded.    Two officers arrived and ordered Merryman to drop the knives. He refused, so both officers fired their guns, killing him. He died at the scene.

Police commented that Mr. Merryman was suicidal and had been treated for depression. Lt. Col. Jones said the guards were being questioned by police as part of the investigation.

Kara Price Shannon, a spokeswoman for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, said police are handling the investigation and directed all questions to them.  “There is no threat to the public or our patients,” she told the Post-Dispatch shortly after the shooting.



  1.  All incoming patients in emotional distress, should be wanded with a metal detector as
    a condition of treatment.  Weapons can be returned as the patient leaves the hospital.

2.  A recent study by Johns Hopkins, discovered that most hospital shootings take
place in the Emergency Room (29%), and only 19% in a patient room.



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www.riskandsecurityllc.com or www.caroline-hamilton.com

#activeshooterhospital #hospitalsecurity #patientshot

Doctor Shot and Killed in Grudge Shooting Over “Mom”

RISKAlert- Active Shooter   No. 625,   January 21, 2015, Boston, Mass.

Middle-Aged Shooter kills Cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and then Kills
Himself, in an apparent Grudge Shooting Because the Doctor had Operated on his Mother.

On Tuesday morning on Jan. 21, at 11 am, Stephen Pasceri, 55, walked into the Shapiro Center
at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and asked to see cardiologist, Dr. Michael J. Davidson.  When
he saw Dr. Davidson, outside of an exam, he shot him twice, critically injuring him.

Dr. Davidson later died from his injuries. Pasceri then went to the 2nd floor and killed himself with a gunshot
to the head.  Later, it was discovered that Dr. Davidson had operated on Pasceri’s mother, Marguerite, and
she had died on November 15, 2014. Pasceri’s sister was quoted as saying, “He loved his mom, and he
loved her very much. He appeared 
to be handling her death well,” the sister said of her brother.

“Everything seemed to be going really well. I have no idea why he snapped like this.
He was a great guy. He took care of his family, he had a beautiful house and he has four
beautiful children. 
He was an upstanding citizen.”

The hospital locked down and rushed Dr. Davidson into surgery, but he died during the night from his injuries.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s COO said the hospital was one of the first to institute an active shooter
training program. The hospital does not use metal detectors.

Lessons Learned :    “A is for Access Control”

1.  Metal Detectors can be are a reliable tool to Prevent In-Hospital Shootings.

2.  Active Shooter Drills are NOT ENOUGH as these incidents unfold in just a few minutes.

3.  Installing ‘NO WEAPONS’ Signage at Entrances can be a deterrent to these first time shooters.

Despite having a good job, family, and a beautiful home, when confronted with a mid-life crisis, his mother’s
death, another middle-aged  shooter goes to a hospital and shoots the doctor, in a scenario that resembles
Johns Hopkins shooting in 2010.   To protect staff and patients, hospitals will have to increase their
security protective measures, including use of metal detectors, no weapons signage and
situational awareness of the staff.

RISKAlerts is a publication of Risk & Security LLC.
To subscribe, write to: info@riskandsecurityllc.com

Get Management’s Attention for Security – Shooter Kills the Hospital Administrator

Every Security Officer I’ve ever met has mentioned how difficult it can be to get funding for additional security!  It is a never-ending mission, to get the budget for a security program that will truly protect an organization.

Hospitals are no exception.  They have suffered their own financial problems and because security is not seen as a ‘clinical’ or ‘patient care’ issue, it is easy to take money from security and put it somewhere else.

But there’s one sure way to get management’s attention for Security — having a security incident.  And if you don’t have one at your organization, high profile security incidents at other facilities will all grab management’s attention.

In my Risk-Pro Security Incident Report today, a shooter killed four, wounded three, and then killed himself.   What was unusual about this incident was that the shooter went to the Hospital Administrator’s house and shot the administrator dead, and then shot his wife who was taken to an area hospital.





Most executives and administrators think about security as sort of an abstract concept, that doesn’t directly affect them.  But it might, and by sending your management a copy of our Risk-Pro Incident Report, you’ll get their attention this time!

(Subscribe to the Risk-Pro Incident Report program by sending an email with the word SUBSCRIBE on it to info@riskandsecurityllc.com)

Joint Commission Reports on Shootings in Hospitals

Some of the most horrific shootings we see occur in hospitals.  Because most people still think of hospitals as “places of refuge”,  it is always a big shock when some kind of violence or shooting occurs in a hospital, especially gun violence.

With so many active shooter incidents in the US in recent months, the Joint Commission recently released information about the number of shootings in hospitals, and found that,

They analyzed a total of 154 hospitals shootings, which took place between 2000 and 2011.  They found that 59% of the incidents took place inside the hospitals, and 41% took place outside on the hospital grounds.

Of the 59% of incident that happened INSIDE the hospital, not surprisingly, about 30% took place in the Emergency Department, and 19% in the patient rooms.   We all remember the John Hopkins incident that occurred in a room where the shooter shot his mother’s doctor, and then locked the door and killed his mother and then committed suicide.

Of the 41% of incidents that took place outside, but on the hospital’s ground, 23% took place in the parking lot, which underscores how important it is to have a designated manager for the parking facilities.  We have seen stories about a man in Tennessee who had a meth lab IN HIS CAR in the hospital parking garage, and the poor baby tossed off the roof of a parking garage.

The 154 hospital shootings resulted in a total of 235  people who were Injured or who died in the incident.   The most common
victim was the perpetrator (shooter) and that accounted for 45% of the people injured or killed. 

Another 20% of the victims were the hospital employees, including physicians (3%) and nurses (5%).

Another interesting highlight of the report, was that 50% of the shootings that took place in the
emergency departments were the result of the shooter taking the security officer’s gun!
The dramatic increase in Active Shooter incidents, including the Washington Navy Yard Shooting, the LAX
shooting and the Sparks middle school shooting all illustrate that the trend is moving toward more incidents per year, and more people dead or injured in each incident.
For example, from 2000 to 2004, there was, on average, only 3.8 active shooter incidents per year.  Then,
from 2005 – 2010, the average number of incidents per year increased to 11 incidents a year, and from
2011 to 2013, it jumped again to an average of 17 incidents per year, which is over a 300% increase from 2000.The statistics clearly show the trend of increasing gun violence in our society, and until society can find a way to reverse
the trend, hospitals will be looking at the possibilities to stop the violence at the door to their emergency department.


Source for hospital shooting data:   Hospital-Based Shootings in the United States: 2000 to 2011 by Gabor D. Kelen, MD, Christina L. Catlett, MD, Joshua G. Kubit, MD, Yu-Hsiang Hsieh, PhD