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Patient shoots Case Worker + Doctor who pulls out own weapon, prevents masacre

Posted

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 44 years experience.

Psychiatrist pulls out own weapon to stop patient from killing more people in medical office building-gunman found to have 39 more bullets in pockets.

More might have died if doctor had not shot gunman

Philly Inquirer

7/25/14

The patient who opened fire on a caseworker and psychiatrist at an office at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital intended to kill the doctor and possibly others - and might have succeeded if the psychiatrist had not pulled his own gun, authorities said Friday.

Richard Plotts was carrying a loaded revolver and 39 bullets when he arrived for his appointment Thursday afternoon, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said. Plotts got off enough shots to kill caseworker Theresa Hunt and wound psychiatrist Lee Silverman before the doctor drew his own weapon and shot Plotts three times.

"If Dr. Silverman did not have the firearm and did not utilize the firearm, he'd be dead today," Whelan said. "And other people would be dead."

... Plotts shot Hunt twice in the head, Whelan said, and Silverman dropped behind the desk chair, drawing his gun from his pocket. Silverman then shot Plotts twice in the torso and once in the leg. Plotts kept shooting, the prosecutor said.

"We believe [Plotts] was going to reload that revolver and continue to kill," Whelan said.

Instead, he was stopped by two hospital staffers, Whelan said: Jeffrey Dekret, a doctor, and caseworker John D'Alonzo, who burst into the room, tackled Plotts, and wrestled the gun from him...

D.A.: Gunman was offended by hospital's 'gun-free' policy

NOTHING WAS GOING to stop Richard Plotts from carrying a gun.

Not the law, not his felony record, not his questionable mental health and certainly not a sign.

Plotts, who shot and killed his caseworker and shot his doctor at a Delaware County hospital campus Thursday, may have done so because he was offended by the hospital's policy against guns, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said.

"There's evidence that he took offense to the issue that there were signs posted at Mercy Fitzgerald Health System indicating that it was a gun-free zone," Whelan said. "That's the only motive we have been able to determine at this point in time . . . he was upset about that policy."

And, if not for an armed doctor and two other brave staffers who subdued him, Plotts may have claimed many more lives with the 39 extra bullets he had in his pocket, according to prosecutors.

"We believe he was there and he was going to reload that revolver and continue to fire and continue to kill," Whelan said...

Edited by NRSKarenRN

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

If it's a gun-free campus, I wonder how the physician was able to get around that.

3rdGenRN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

In the articles I read, he brought it in violation of the rules.

parascribe

Specializes in Emergency.

If it's a gun-free campus, I wonder how the physician was able to get around that.

Same way the gunmen did. He just had better intentions.

MrChicagoRN, RN

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience.

This topic is going to heat up in the next 24 hours, especially being the weekend. However, right now I'm on my way out of town, and can't type worth a darn on my smartphone so I'll just have to get my popcorn later. :woot:

tntrn, ASN, RN

Specializes in L & D; Postpartum. Has 34 years experience.

In the articles I read, he brought it in violation of the rules.

And thankfully, he did. If intelligent minds prevail, that he had a firearm (in violation of a stupid rule) will be overlooked.

imintrouble, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Rehab Med/Surg. Has 16 years experience.

I could cover the walls of my house with rules that are made, then bent and broken. Sometimes the rules need to be broken. Sometimes they're so stupid they're never going to be followed.

The whole gun issue is a hot potato and I'm not going to debate conceal and carry. I'm just saying, if I were an employee in the building, I'd be darn glad my psychiatrist colleague had a gun with him that day.

I wonder if there were armed security guards?

We are fast becoming a world where no place is safe.

HappyWife77, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology RN-BC and FNP MSN student. Has 21 years experience.

How awesome that physician was armed!

Such a tragedy for the victims that didn't make it. Their probably going to have metal detectors at every entrance one day. I am just very proud of the doc that was armed.

And that is the difference between responsible and non responsible gun ownership. God bless the doctor who saved so many lives.

If he faces discipline or loses his job I will be the first person to donate to the crowd sourcing page.

parascribe

Specializes in Emergency.

I wonder if there were armed security guards?

We are fast becoming a world where no place is safe.

I disagree. We have always lived in a world where no place is safe. The crux of the matter revolves around how we choose to live in a dangerous world.

I broke company policy and carried concealed for a spell.

It will be interesting to see how this law breaker is handled given that he stopped another law breaker from killing/harming more people.

3rdGenRN

Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

I hope the hospital doesn't excuse his bad behavior just because it worked out this time. Totally inappropriate for a physician to carry a firearm on duty.

parascribe

Specializes in Emergency.

I hope the hospital doesn't excuse his bad behavior just because it worked out this time. Totally inappropriate for a physician to carry a firearm on duty.

Apparentlyl this physician felt that the safety of his staff and himself was enhanced by having a weapon available to deal with an extreme situation. Citing facts of the case as presented, maybe you could explain to us why he was wrong.

A sign saying "gun-free zone" is welcoming those with intentions to hurt people, knowing that the victims will be defenseless. Unless there are true measures ensuring a gun-free zone, such as metal-detectors for each incoming person, the sign alone is a moot point and is asking for danger. No person with the intentions of opening fire will stop, look at the sign and say, "Nevermind... its a gun-free zone, I'll go elsewhere (perhaps where there are people carrying)."

Thank God that the psychiatrist realized this understanding. If he wasn't smart enough to realize that the signs are essentially ineffective for those with bad intentions, who knows how many others would be killed. The best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Prayers to the victims and families, and to the physician so that he has the support he deserves for being a hero.

Shame on you all that thinks he deserves punishment... he is the definition a hero!

I wonder if there were armed security guards?

We are fast becoming a world where no place is safe.

We are fast becoming a world, were we know about crime all over the world at a moments notice. Look at stats of how my crimes happen per second, and imagine knowing about each and every one of them, 2 seconds later. That is alot of crime.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

Situations like these leave me ambivalent; what if the doctor missed, and hit someone else? There's always that possibility that situations like this can not go as effectively as this happened; and someone did tackle him without a gun.

However, this was truly a paradox in gun safety issues that are plaguing the country; unfortunately a life was lost. :down:

parascribe

Specializes in Emergency.

Situations like these leave me ambivalent; what if the doctor missed, and hit someone else? There's always that possibility that situations like this can not go as effectively as this happened; and someone did tackle him without a gun.

However, this was truly a paradox in gun safety issues that are plaguing the country; unfortunately a life was lost. :down:

What is there to be ambivalent about? There is every reason to believe that if the Dr. had missed, or had not been carrying at all, the gunman would have continued to kill until he was out of ammo or stopped by someone else.

And I would also disagree that we have a gun safety issue in this country. Modern firearms are manufactured using modern technology with good quality control and all sorts of processes in place to insure they are safe. People on the other hand, are just as dangerous as they've ever been.

Edited by parascribe
spelling

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

What is there to be ambivalent about? There is every reason to believe that if the Dr. had missed, or had not been carrying at all, the gunman would have continued to kill until he was out of ammo or stopped by someone else.

And I would also disagree that we have a gun safety issue in this country. Modern firearms are manufactured using modern technology with good quality control and all sorts of processes in place to insure they are safe. People on the other hand, are just as dangerous as they've ever been.

I have a right to feel ambivalent, whether you question it or not; if the doctor missed, and the man kept firing, there were people who would've subdued him anyway; there are many people that do risk their lives unarmed and disarm people, so a gun may it may not have been necessary, or he may or may not have killed more people.

The IS a public health issue-gun violence is a issue that kills and disables thousands of people each year; some people who are licensed gun owners do end up having mental health issues and end up harming people; I am one of them; I'm not going to get into a discussion of my posted opinion anymore; it is what it is and we'll have to agree to disagree. :yes: