Mercy Hospital crime scene (courtesy Yahoo.com)

A regular reader and PA police officer just sent us this email re: the shooting and defensive gun use at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, PA:

Just cleared the crime scene.

I can not tell you the rage that myself and many of my fellow officers felt as we looked at the sign which prohibited weapons from the building. The mental patient did not seem to pay the sign any attention. And neither will anyone else who wishes to hurt people.

One moment of joy, in a day filled with sadness was when we learned, as we were closing in, that the doctor/victim had a firearm and defended himself and his staff,. you could probably hear about 30 officers, make statements along the lines of “Hell yea!”, “Good for him” and “the way it should to be!” from outside the building.

Thankfully the Doctor ignored the sign.

Crime scene guys are working it now, more facts I’m sure to be released in the press.

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92 Responses to PA Hospital Shooting Update: On-Scene Cop Reports

  1. Poor guy. His reward for doing harm when it needed to be done will be disbarrment and ostracism from the medical field. Hopefully the man can find a gig less biased against self defense.

    • He can’t be disbarred, probably won’t be ostracized, and might lose his privileges at the hospital. Doctors change hospitals all the time, so that’s no big deal. He’ll be back in business in a week.

      • Losing privileges is a big deal. It can take several months, sometimes longer than a year, to be recredentialed by insurance companies.

        • As a Nurse Practitioner; dealing with possible problems from the state medical board will be a bigger issue than credentialing.

        • Hope that his job as a Dr. allowed him to save up a lot of money for the following months.

    • One wonders if those same police would be saying “hell yeah” if they caught the doctor armed in the hospital yesterday. Probably a lot of “well it’s policy” and “you should’ve known better.”

        • No, they don’t. They have the ability to apply “common sense” and discretion. That’s why I have so few traffic tickets.

    • Disbarring refers to lawyers, not physicians.

      It is unlikely he will lose his license, but his privileges at the hospital might get pulled.

      Contrary to another comment, it is not very easy to get privileges. In the application process you have to state whether you lave lost privileges at another hospital (sure, you can lie, but if they find out, there go the privileges). The process of getting privileges usually takes 3 months or so, not “next week”.

      I’d pin a medal on the guy. He saved more lives in a few seconds than one can save in a year.

      I hope the Medical Staff sees the wisdom of his actions and the stupidity of the decals.

      • Interview . . .

        Q: And why did you lose your priveleges at Mercy?

        A: I saved a whole bunch of people’s lives.

        Q: Um, you’re a doctor. Isn’t that your job?

        A: I used a 9mm instead of a scalpel.

        Q: Aren’t guns banned at Mercy?

        A: Yup, they trusted me to cut open human beings and tie up their innards, but not with a gun. Funny that.

        • Maybe you didn’t notice, but this was at a “Wellness Center,” and they were in a Psychiatric office: I doubt he had the license or qualifications to cut anyone open or assist in operating on them.
          A Dr. in Psychology undergoes a different kind of education than a surgeon.

        • “I tried to open his mind with a bullet instead of questions about his childhood. It seemed to work better.”

        • To clarify, if this man was a psychIATRIST he went through medical school and then completed a residency in psychiatry. A surgeon goes through medical school and does a residency in surgery. A psychOLOGIST is a PhD that is trained in therapy and cant prescribe medications.

          Sometimes psychiatry and psychology are confused.

    • Don’t feel sorry for the doctor. Obamacare would have run him out of business anyway. He will be practicing happily in New Zealand this time next year if not sooner.

    • If that happens, then he should sue the hospital (and anyone else involved in his negative repercussions) for unsafe workplace and for violation of his civil rights.

      It’s about time endangered employees start fighting back against their employers forcing them to work in the defenseless-victim, free-fire areas known as “gun-free zones”.

      My sister-in-law is a social worker. Her work requires her to work alone, among some of society’s most disturbed people, including entering the houses of adult male drug addicts (and worse), in some of the worst parts of town, alone. Her employer prohibits her from carrying a firearm. Such a policy is absolutely asinine.

    • He’s just supposed to lay down and die like a good little slave, and let that poor, misunderstood, persecuted patient go about his cathartic rage killing. I mean, really, what was that doctor thinking? How abominable.

      /end heavy sarcasm

  2. Shannon & Co. won’t count this as a good guy stopping a mass shooting, because the good guy shot the bad guy before he could rack up enough victims to count as a mass shooter.

      • If she acknowledged those inconvenient facts, she wouldn’t be have the money to live in a McMansion gated community.

        • You mean that community where one of her neighbors shot an armed burglar dead during a home invasion and the other three armed felons ran screaming into the night? It’s funny how she doesn’t know anyone ever saved by a firearm, but literally four houses down is a family who are alive today because they own and understand the proper use of firearms…

    • The man is a hero and proof gun free zones are a lie. So watch him get buried in the MSM by round the clock reports on Obama criticizing Repubs for not doing what he wants.

    • That’s the same thing a FaceBook user said about himself cracking open the skull of an Open-Carry demonstrator.

    • There surely wouldn’t be a jury in Darby that would convict him. It is a very rough area. Half the residents will be cheering on the good doctor. The other half will be trying to find his address, hoping to steal his guns.

  3. Gun free zones…there to make the anti-gun bigots “feel” safe while doing nothing to make them safe.

    The shame is that they will never learn.

    • Until the moment just before they’re gunned down by a criminal who didn’t stop to read the GFZ sign.

  4. Glad the bad guy got shot by the good doctor before he was able to do more damage. That’s a doctor I’d go and see. There’s too much “doctors shall do no harm” BS in most healthcare philosophy. My philosophy is a “stop the bad guy” mindset. There are way too many idiots out there that think that signs can stop criminal activity. I have at least 8,000 tickets and more than 150 arrests that say otherwise.

  5. This will never ever make it onto any national news program, besides maybe Fox, which the people that need convincing dont watch anyway…

    • Crazy talk. The only way to deal with criminals is with a soft hand, revolving door prisons, and telling them that they are not responsible for their actions. The only reason reality doesn’t reflect that is we haven’t done it long enough. A few hundred more years and I’m sure they’ll come around and Russia will stop being so rambunctious.

  6. OK I’ll say it:

    Yet another case of a bad guy with a gun being stopped by a good guy with a gun!

    Go Team!

  7. This incident is conspicuously absent from Everytown and Coalition to to Disarm America’s Facebook pages. Odd.

  8. I find it repugnant that someone who saved lives today is in danger of losing his job. What if he hadn’t pulled his gun out? More people would be dead, maybe even him. It should be illegal to fire someone for defending and saving lives. But I guess the next time something like that happens, there won’t be anybody to save them since they are firing their free bodyguard.

  9. you could probably hear about 30 officers, make statements along the lines of “Hell yea!”, “Good for him” and “the way it should to be!” from outside the building.

    If true, then good for the local citizens. Given my extensive experience with the police, I personally have a hard time believing that they said those things and were more likely pissed that they didn’t get to shoot the nutcase.

    • Being glad that somebody shot him, and wishing you had shot him are not mutually exclusive. I deal with police officers on a daily basis and the vast majority are wonderful people.

      One example: Two weeks ago I had a case (I’m a PI) in a known gang territory and twice had a pistol pulled on me by the same child. Instead of shooting a 14 year old, as was my legal right, I decided to move to a safer location and notify the police. Later that night I went in to the station to file an actual report and give them footage I had shot of the kid for identification. The officers were all glad I hadn’t ruined their quiet afternoon with gunfire but absolutely none of them batted an eye when I told them I would be back the next day and that I’d “shoot first if needed tomorrow.”

      Most cops are people too and realize we have the right to defend ourselves. Many of them even go out of their way to do what they can so that we don’t have to. The following day, I was passed by an officer at least 4 times an hour and no thugs thought it wise to walk outside.

  10. So the big question is: Does this justify good citizens carrying illegally in places such as California and other anti-gun states? Or if a good citizen carries a gun illegally, does this make that person a bad guy? In this case is the doctor a bad guy for carrying illegally?

    Anti-carry laws/rules make my brain hurt.

  11. I live in Delaware county. it makes me happy to hear my local police support the second amendment, hope it is a true statement..

  12. “Given my extensive experience with the police, I personally have a hard time believing that they said those things and were more likely pissed that they didn’t get to shoot the nutcase.”

    One can only imagine the nature of Publius’ “extensive experience”. Sovereign Citizen? Anarchist? Aryan Brotherhood? Hutaree Militia? Common criminal in possession of a firearm? The possibilities are endless.

    If there was ever a doubt just how deep the idiocy of anti law enforcement fringes of society can run, the cop hating post from Publius should remove that doubt

    • Your childish insults are just adorable. Those who’ve read my posting history know that I’ve worked for two major police departments (think LAPD, NYPD, etc – I’m not going to say which to at least maintain a tiny amount of anonymity), multiple family members who are cops (I’ve posted links to Facebook conversations of said relatives ranting about how they’re better than non-police and that they shouldn’t have to obey the laws they’re paid to enforce), as well as plenty of other LEO’s that I interact with socially and professionally.

      • LAPD AND NYPD, is that a fact? What happened, did you get fired or just quit?

        While I have my doubts that anyone who actually was or is the REAL POLICE would post a comment as fatuous as “I personally have a hard time believing that they said those things”, if your claimed resume is accurate, I suppose life on the job in progressive liberal states like California and New York could do that to you.

        • I’ve never said I was a cop – I have morals and integrity. I said I worked with major departments of similar size. I was contracted to do tech support and the things I saw and hear would make you want to puke. Well, not you, since you believe that the police can do no wrong, but a normal person would be sickened by their behavior.

        • OK Publius, let me see if I got this right, even though YOU actually wrote, “Those who’ve read my posting history know that I’ve worked for two major police departments”, even though YOUR words were “WORKED FOR”, what you really meant was “worked with”, AND you were never a cop because you “have morals and integrity”, OK, got it, now I understand, makes perfect sense. At least I got the cop hater part right!

        • SteveinCO, go back and read what Publius actually wrote in the two entertaining albeit lame posts demonstrating some difficulty with keeping the story straight. By his/her own admission, Publius did not “WORK FOR” but instead “WORKED WITH” (allegedly) “two major police departments” as some type of “tech support” contractor where Publius saw and heard (allegedly) unspecified barf inducing “things” that would make a “normal person” (but not me) sick. Quite a story, a cop hating techie from a family of lawless facebook posting cops (allegedly), poor Publius couldn’t keep his/her story straight in two posts less than an hour apart, that’s what the POE-POE would call a CLUE!

        • Yo, Ted, you’re not obnoxious or anything, are you? Shoot, you sound like a cop!

  13. Few ideas to run by the group here as to what should happen next-

    One or more of the officers ought to put the doctor in for a life saving or other type of award. Most departments will have awards that can be given to non uniformed/non employee persons, and I can’t think of anyone who deserves one more. If turned down by the brass, that ought to be publicized. Any submission for an award should be without any “I told you so” kind of language about gun free zones, stupid laws, and the like.

    Some pro gun group ought to give the doctor a replacement gun for the one now sitting in an evidence locker. I know he’s a doctor and could likely buy a case of new guns and a new Range Rover to bring them home in, but this is more of a symbolic gesture of gratitude. To be given with a letter expressing the thanks of the national community for dedication to preserving life above and beyond the duties to which he could reasonably be held accountable, also without any “I told you so” kind of language.

    This could be funded, again as a symbolic gesture, by donations from regular folks like us here in the comments section. I’d chip in at least $20-50 for something like this. Times a few hundred or hopefully few thousand people, we’re talking about real walking around money for even a doctor. Should this happen, in the likely event that the doctor declines because he already got a new gun, offer to put the money raised as a donation towards the charity of his choice (asking that it not be an anti-gun charity).

    Actually, what about a general fund and intermittent donations of replacement guns for deserving folks who defended themselves and/or others against violence, but won’t be seeing their guns again due to rules of evidence? Is this already a thing somewhere else that I just didn’t know about? Doesn’t have to be limited to doctors.

    • I’m not a fan of jury nullification. It smacks of “Let’s take this legal shortcut…..just this one time…..”, which inevitably turns out never to be just this one time and never works out in the long run. It just compromises the credibility of the entire legal system by introducing uncertainty and ad hoc rewrites of the penal code.

      The primary purpose of the law is to establish up front what the major rules of society are so that people know in advance what’s accepted, what’s expected, and what the consequences for deviations will be. When juries are making things up as they go along, nobody knows anymore up front how to behave or what might befall them. It leads people make assumptions and take chances, thinking that they can get out of jail free so long as they win the luck of the draw and get a properly prejudiced jury. It also robs others of equal protection of the law when their case gets decided by the letter of the law, as opposed to the whim of a favorably biased jury.

      If a law is unconstitutional, then it’s the role of the appellate courts to make that determination, not juries. Juries are only constitutionally appointed as finders of facts, not assessors of the law itself. If a law is unjust, then it’s the role of the electorate, through their elected representatives, to change the law.

      • Jury nullification serves a great purpose. Laws are written for the good of the majority, but there will always be cases where someone’s specific circumstances required them to break the law to avoid something worse happening. (think: speeding to the hospital during an emergency or carrying a firearm across the street into school/hospital/private property in order to stop a violent attack.) In those instances, it wouldn’t be right to overturn a good law in order to save one or two people from prison. These times, it is correct and noble for a jury to set aside the rules of law and refuse to convict.

        I have a neighbor who was on the receiving end of a nullification. After months of telling the officer in charge of investigating the theft of his car exactly who the thief was and where he lived, my friend assumed nobody would ever do anything and he took the insurance money and bought his car back from the thief. The police got word of this during the thief’s next arrest and came after my neighbor for receiving stolen property (HIS property.) The car was worth enough that jail time was a real possibility had he lost the case, but legally he didn’t have a leg to stand on. He HAD purchased an item he knew had been reported stolen. There was no other case to make other than that the law should be ignored “just this once” because while purchasing stolen property should be illegal, sending a man to jail for purchasing his own car back from a robber after law enforcement did absolutely nothing about it would be a horrible miscarriage of justice.

        Some laws are good and should not be overturned. I don’t believe “gun free zone” laws are those laws, but while we do have good laws, we still need the ability to set them aside from time to time for the good of the people.

        • Not buying it. The law, at least in Texas, already provides two major general justifications which an accused may assert as affirmative defenses at trial. They are Public Duty (meaning the actor reasonably believed the action was required or authorized by law, court order, etc.) and Necessity (meaning the actor reasonably believed his conduct was necessary to avoid an immediate harm, a harm which outweighs whatever law he broke in the process of avoiding the harm.) Those justifications are predefined and have statutory elements of their own to be established as matters of fact by a jury. So there’s already legal relief available, via codified standards accessible to all, to accommodate special circumstances such as speeding to a hospital, without having to resort to arbitrary and capricious jury nullification only for certain people.

          As for your friend receiving stolen property, it’s a quirk in the law, but one he easily could have avoided entirely by buying another car from a legitimate owner. It would then be out of his hands and up to the insurance company to file a civil suit against the thief to recover what was by that point their property. The fact is, once your friend’s insurance claim was paid, the game ended. He no longer had any legal interest in the car anymore, because he’d already been compensated for his loss and waived title. That he was a former owner is mildly amusing, but legally irrelevant. He’s now receiving stolen property, just as any other buyer who knew it had been stolen would have been had they bought it.

          Really, the circumstances you describe are indistinguishable from insurance fraud, whereby the two collude to fabricate a car theft, then split the insurance proceeds. You’re telling me the thief just *happened* to charge the former owner the EXACT amount that the insurance company paid out, and not any less which the former owner just pocketed? Please. He’s lucky he they only pinched him for receiving. He certainly doesn’t deserve additional luck of a jury bailing him out of his criminal activity.

      • Jonathan – Houston, Stuff it.

        I think that any law that is bad and passed by corrupt legislators and is unconstitutional should at EVERY turn be nullified by a jury.
        Yes, a KKK lynching may occur and the perp let off, but that does not say the jury room can’t be a special case one time legislative session. Jury goes behind the sacred close doors, and out comes a verdict, Noone can stick their nose into the deliberation and if the jury is silent on their process, that is it.

  14. “……you could probably hear about 30 officers, make statements along the lines of “Hell yea!”, “Good for him” and “the way it should to be!” from outside the building.”

    Yay! Now maybe the storm troopers will quit aiding and abetting these kinds of shootings and thwarting the very kind of armed resistance they *claim* to support, by quit supporting politicians hell bent on civilian disarmament in exchange for their own selfish, little LEO carve-outs/exemptions. I know, I know, that’s only the bigwigs at the top of the P.D.’s, not the good guys working a beat. Bull.

    First, all of those chiefs started out on a beat themselves at one point. They’re one in the same. Second, check out the LEO comments on police-oriented websites some day. I’ve heard more pleasant, accommodating sentiments expressed toward the pro-gun segment by the typical Bloomie supporter than I have out of these cops.

    How much does a new AR-15 go for in places like New York and Connecticut these days? About thirty pieces of silver. Good day, sir.

      • Soooo…….you have ZERO refutation of my argument, just a vicious personal attack on me in violation of TTAG’s terms of use? Not to mention an appalling ignorance of the NUMEROUS examples of police working to frustrate people’s efforts to exercise their RKBA?

        Wow. OK. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. From the latest Fox News update…

    Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux said that, “without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives.”

    Something tells me the shrink won’t be facing any problems.

  16. I was a young resident physician when an evil man walked into my hospital with a gun. The coward killed several and wounded a few others before he was brought down by a good guy with a gun. To this day, I vividly remember the injustice of it all: a young schizophrenic, who had previously been involuntarily committed because of his (literally) murderous rages. His rich and powerful parents, who shielded him from consequences at every turn. His psychiatrist who could have petitioned for commitment, but did not. Most of all, though, I remember watching a madman hurt people: my co-workers. My colleagues. My patients. I could have stopped him — or at least slowed him down — if I’d had a gun. I did not.

    I — and not a few of my colleagues — resolved afterwards that we would never allow this to happen again, no matter what the personal consequences. I now carry wherever I go — whether there are signs that tell me I can or no. I hope I’ll never be in a situation where my life — or, more importantly, the lives of my patients — depends on my marksmanship. But should a madman decide that today would be a good day to take away the lives of those I swore to serve … I’m ready.

    Oh, and in response to those in this thread who talk about how much money doctors make — it depends on where he was in his training. I couldn’t even scrape together enough to buy a gun until recently, thanks to the below-minimum wages residents are paid (and the staggering amount of student debt those of us whose parents aren’t millionaires take on). If this doctor isn’t that far out from residency/fellowship, he very well might not be making much (and may — like the majority of us fairly recent med school graduates — have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of student debt to pay off).

    • You’re probably talking about me- yes, I am aware that there are significant differences in the earning potential of doctors depending on experience, location, and whether one has chosen a specialty in demand. I am also aware that medical school is very expensive, and that student loans have a habit of piling up to levels beyond what most people would expect when starting their education.

      In general, though, I think medical doctors have a higher earning potential than most other career fields, and that if a doctor does not manage to pay off their student loans and do pretty well for themselves after a reasonable number of years, they are either doing it wrong or knowingly sacrificing pay to work in an area they feel needs their help.

      This is something you probably knew you were getting into- I would expect anyone who chooses medicine as their profession, knowing the length of the schooling and training, to be able to take the long view. When we both retire, I have little doubt you will be better off than me, and no doubt at all that you will have earned it.

  17. Not to sound like a conspiracist but this story is being suppressed nationally everywhere besides Fox News. Every other minor shooting is front page news. This doesn’t fit their agenda that no one has ever stopped a shooting.

    • I don’t know, but according to research findings reported last year by Pew Research, 50% of people now get their news from the Internet. That swamps the numbers for newspapers and radio and is quickly closing the gap on T.V. And if you figure that many of the non-Internet news consumers are likely older, conservative, Fox watchers, anyway, then the practical reach of the mainstream media is even more limited today.

      The mainstream media just doesn’t have the stranglehold on information that they once had. They can black out stories all they want, but people are increasingly getting the news despite the MSM’s best (worst?) efforts.

      • You’re placing more value in that stat than you should.
        Most of that 50% who claim to get their news online are just going to MSM websites to get it. Abcnews.com, foxnews.com, cnn.com etc…..
        What’s the difference between watching CNN or going to CNN.com? It’s still MSM news.
        As somebody who works largely with educating the public on technology I’ll tell you right now that just because a person has access to the Internet and claims to make use of the Internet it does not mean that they research, fact check, find different sources or reports or do any of the things that anyone serious about information would do.

        90% of the time when people say they use the Internet or check online news all it means is they look at an MSM news site and update their Facebook status.

        This is a tool virtually everyone has and nobody knows how to use.

  18. Hello all. I’m a new reader of TTAG and today I feel compelled to comment, as this story hits close to home.

    I am a healthcare security officer in IL. Central IL to be exact. Though Central IL is more gun-friendly than our big brother to the north, I still see the gun-free zone sticker everyday I walk into work (the signs went up at healthcare facilities after IL concealed carry passed). Like many protection officers working in healthcare, I am not allowed to carry a firearm on the job. In spite of the high level of violence in health care settings–I recently read that healthcare and social services are #1 for on-the-job assaults, according to OSHA–the two urban medical centers I have worked with have wary of the idea of armed security personnel to say the least. The hospital I work at now has a behavioral health specialty like Mercy.

    Do I NEED a firearm for most of the situations I encounter? Of course not (the same could be said for the police). My presence, verbal skills and back-up are usually sufficient. But sometimes people just want to fight. Sometimes they bring in knives (we have a collection of them in our found property area). And who knows how many people walk around strapped in hospitals in spite of what the damn stickers say.

    My colleagues and I have had employees ask us, “what will you do if someone brings a gun in here?” Well, since my employer does not give me the option of meeting force with force, I have to be honest with these folks. Since most hospitals limit the options of their security personnel, they have no right to ask us to go on suicide missions. We are the first ones an active shooter will eliminate. Don’t think for a minute these shooters will give us a break because we don’t have side arms. They are looking for body counts and they will be especially quick to eliminate anyone (read: anyone in a uniform) that might slow them down.

    So, it is likely that the most we could do is escort others to safety, lock down selected areas of the hospital (to keep others out or to contain the suspect) and direct LEO’s into the scene. Since I have received some decent training in defensive tactics and the use of improvised weapons (I paid for much of this with my own money), I may try to set up an ambush, but only if there was a clear opportunity to do so (the shooter is distracted, has to reload, doesn’t know I’m behind him, etc).

    If that opportunity doesn’t arise, then I’m out the door like everyone else. It sucks, because I’m accustomed to running towards the sound of screaming, scuffling, alarms etc. I am in the business of protection, after all. But gunshots? Sorry, I can’t do that unless I have the right tools for the job (Are you listening Administration? Yeah, didn’t think so!).

    Today, this doctor did have the right tools for the job, even though the security department almost certainly did not (please correct me if I’m wrong). He went towards the sound of gunfire and put himself on the line to save others. He acted as a warrior in the classic sense. He possesses the skills to heal and the skills to maim and kill. Today, he used the skills that were most appropriate for the situation. I’m glad he’s ok (at least physically) and I sincerely hope he is commended for his valor instead of being hounded about rules.

    • Welcome to TTAG. Interesting feedback you have from the front lines, or more like from behind the lines in occupied Illinois. Keep reading, keep writing, and definitely keep carrying. Thanks for the post.

  19. Shock!! This is nowhere on yahoo news. Not anywhere. Yet when the crazy guy by Houston killed his ex-wife’s family there was a dozen stories on the front page within an hour…..

  20. My wife use to do psychiatric assesments on the mentally unstable at the local hospital ER and would tell me about these people all the time that would show up because they had no other facility to go to for help. After hearing about this story I am not surprised what happened. Most hospitals do not allow any firearms on property including the security.

  21. I, too, am daily angered whenever I walk into my workplace and pass the “gun free zone” sign on the front door. I am thankful that Dr. Silverman chose to disregard that policy in his own workplace.

  22. I’ve been watching this story mutate throughout the morning on cnn.com. It started with a headline and lead constructed to make it sound like an active shooter shot three people. This was when other news outlets (like AP) were correctly telling the story. It only recently morphed into a more accurate headline and lead that said the doctor shot the active shooter.

    I’d love to know the process behind that manipulation and what happened to make them fix it.

  23. If this doctor,this hero,is punished in ANY way,it would be a gross miscarriage of justice! Thanks,doc,and good luck dealing with the anti-gun nuts in our justice system!

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