Delaware, PA County Council Honors Mercy Hospital “First Responders” For Post-DGU Response

Mercy Hospital shooting scene (courtesy

You may recall the recent shooting at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital campus in July. A man named Richard Plotts entered the Wellness Center where he shot and killed Theresa Hunt. Plotts then attempted to shoot psychiatrist Dr. Lee Silverman. In contravention of hospital policy, Dr. Silverman kept a gun in his office, which he used to defend himself against Plotts’ homicidal attack. Despite being shot in the thumb and the head (graze wound), Dr. Silverman prevailed. He wounded Plotts, who had more than enough ammo to continue his killing spree. The gunfight was over before any security or police made the scene. But that didn’t stop the local Mayor from celebrating the “first responders” response . . .

Yeadon Mayor Rohan Hepkins described the emergency response to the fatal shooting on the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital campus in July as surreal, life-changing and life-alternating.

“We came together,” Hepkins said. “It brought tears to my eyes.”

Delaware County Council and District Attorney Jack Whelan recognized the response provided by more than three dozen police officers, emergency personnel and hospital staffers. They were presented resolutions honoring their actions Wednesday at the county council meeting . . .

Fourteen police officers, including Yeadon Chief Donald J. Molineux, Darby Chief Robert F. Smythe and East Lansdowne Chief John J. Zimath, were honored for their response. Twelve members of Mercy EMS were recognized, including Chief Larry Smythe. Another 12 hospital officials, Darby Mayor Helen Thomas and Hepkins were presented resolutions.

“The emergency response was unbelievable to get there and to secure the scene,” county council Chairman Tom McGarrigle said. “You know what happened after the event, but at that point, those first responders don’t know whether there’s another shooter in the building. … For them to rush into a building where shots were fired was pretty was courageous.”

Don’t get me wrong. The Council recognized Dr. Silverman’s bravery (the Doc was there but didn’t speak). But the police response to the Mercy Hospital shooting was a case of cops and other emergency workers “just doing their job.” I’m glad they did it well. They deserve to be recognized for their planning, coordination and actions. But c’mon. They may have thought they were in harm’s way, and for good reason, but they weren’t.

Dr. Silverman’s the hero of this incident. Period. [h/t JG]


  1. avatar Grindstone says:

    Down playing a private citizen’s heroic actions, praising the agents of the state who did nothing effective…

    Hmm… Nope, no narrative here.

    1. EXACTLY. Seems more like damage control, not explicitly crediting the private responder who saved the day. Nope. No agenda there.

      1. avatar Glenn Billings says:

        Yep it reminds me of the dirty Harry movie where when he had a woman partner and she got an award ffrom the mayor for rounding up the Mustaffa gang.

        1. avatar Taurus609 says:

          Yeah, but she had the balls to walk away and not except the award. Too bad one of the “first responders” didn’t speak up and give most of the praise to Dr Silverman.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:


      The question earlier today was posed why I bring up “Statism” so often.

      This is why. Because it is all around us and sometimes “the message” is very subtle. Sometimes it’s not.

      It’s the subtle ones that give worry, because they go unnoticed by some – like subliminal advertising.

    3. avatar Bob says:

      Here’s the link to the article where the quote in this post was taken from. The DA Jack Whelan did praise the Dr, and the article mentioned what actually happened.


      “It was only when (Plotts) was on the ground and was subdued that they realized he had been shot by Dr. Silverman,” Whelan said. “That was incredible.”

      Robert, why didn’t you post the link to the actual article? When reading the whole article it doesn’t sound as blatant as your post leaves one to believe. It’s still bad, but I think it’s a bit disingenuous to cherry pick a quote from the article like that and not post the link.

      We don’t know what else was said about the Dr in the council meeting, the biased author of the article, I’m sure, cherry picked on his own.

      1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        “Don’t get me wrong. The Council recognized Dr. Silverman’s bravery (the Doc was there but didn’t speak). But the police response to the Mercy Hospital shooting was a case of cops and other emergency workers “just doing their job.”

        Robert says it right there. He just feels that the praise was disproportionate to the first responders compared to the doctor that actually ended the killing spree.

  2. avatar SelousX says:

    Has the good doctor been lionized or otherwise publicly feted?

  3. avatar Wood says:

    Sounds like someone is running for something.

    Too bad there wasn’t a comparable response to Sandy Hook.

  4. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    From initial reports form the scene the officers where elated that Dr. Silverman had a firearm on him to begin with. They all recognized the importance of a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun. Even though the politicians might not have publicized this, which they should have, the LEO’s who were on scene knew about it.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      How many were bummed out they didn’t get to throw flashbangs or bust a few caps off?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      The Mayor is a former Republican turned Democrat. Nothing opportunistic in that. Or is there?

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Political masturbation at its finest. Grabbing the credit for someone else’s work. Meanwhile, back in the real world, we know what happened. Dr. Silverman saved everybody’s asses. He was the real “first responder.” I’m sure that the official First Responders arrived on the scene as quickly as they could, but they didn’t put down that murderer. A concealed carrier did.

    Hey, Mayor Hepkins — you didn’t build that.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Dr. Silverman truly was the real “first responder.”

      That is why I no longer refer to police, EMS, and fire fighters with that term. Instead, I refer to them as professional responders.

      1. avatar mk10108 says:

        Well said Professional responders, after the fact, there to clear rooms and process paperwork.

      2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        I refer to police, fire, and EMS as “second responders”, “eventual responders”, or, if I’m feeling especially generous, “the cavalry”, but never “first responders.”

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          When you get to an emergency, and the people on scene have done exactly jack squat to stabilize the scene, police and fire are definitely first responders. In big cities, many residents are so brainwashed into depending on the government that they simply wait in place until someone in uniform tells them to do something.

          That definitely isn’t the case here, thankfully, but it does happen. Dr. Silverman should get the credit, because he deserves it. If a cop did the same thing there would certainly be a medal.

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Now you’re just splitting hairs. Nobody ever claimed that the true, non-professional, first responders were always competent or even attempting to attend to every emergency, just that they are, in fact, first.

          That they are the true first responders is all the more reason for them to have some basic skills and equipment, since the professional, second responders are always some time and distance away.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      For them to recognize the doctor saved everyone else and they didn’t do jack shit would be to encourage more people to take it upon themselves to protect themselves. This was the consolation prize, and they didn’t dare fire the doctor.

      1. avatar Chris In Texas says:

        Bingo. You win today’s prize.

  6. avatar Tokamak says:

    Last I heard, Dr. Silverman was fired for his actions. “No good deed unpunished”…

    It’s great that somebody gets the credit though! (sarc)

    1. avatar Excedrine says:

      Actually, The Good Doctor got to keep his job — and his license to practice medicine.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Is the doc still carrying concealed at work?

        Does the hospital now officially recognizes lawful concealed carry?

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Remember, the gun control mindset is all about preventing “peasants” from being armed. Since the good doctor is not part of the peasant class, he gets a pass.

  7. avatar Excedrine says:

    “Oh, the Doctor? The guy who actually saved all of those people’s lives? No, he’s not the hero, silly peasants! These peace officers are, regardless of the fact that they showed up after all hostilities had ceased and were never in any real danger in this particular incident. You should all know by now that armed citizens don’t stop shootings! (De facto racist) Shannon Watts told me so, after all. We know best!”

    That’s tantamount to what was said or implied there.

  8. avatar GS650G says:

    Truly unbelievable.

    I grew up in Yeadon. It has changed DRAMATICALLY in 25 years. And not for the better.

    BTW it’s written Delaware County, PA

  9. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    These are the same mental midgets that concocted the idea that our crumb-crunchers would have a ceremony when they graduated…! It’s all bread and circuses. When you don’t want people to see the real quantitative results, you promote the meaningless and otherwise, qualitative results. The ovis-sapiens lap it up.

  10. avatar Calvin says:

    Stolen valor

  11. avatar Dano says:

    It’s actually not just their job. The SWAT/CERT/ERT teams in PA and specifically Delaware county are comprised of members who are volunteers. Yes there is a competitive tryout for the county/regional teams, but it’s by no means part of their job nor do they get extra pay for the duty – and they’re on call 24x7x365. There were plenty of other cops there who chose not to enter these risky situations and instead were blocking off traffic 6 blocks away.

    Your default cop hate that seems to litter every story is becoming more about emotional rants and less about factual reporting. I know guys on the Delaware County team, I’ve been to annual training with them. They are much more decent stand up guy trying to do the right thing and a whole lot less than the goose stepping thugs you’d make them out to be.

    These county teams train and train and train, and everyone I know who is on one sure as hell hopes they never have to take a life.

    1. avatar Panzer says:

      I don’t care what kind of guys and gals are who serve on the SWAT/CERT/ERT

      1. avatar Dano says:

        You don’t until you need them, or your loved ones need them. You don’t care about them until your find out they’re 7-10 minutes away. You’re typical of the arm chair expert who watched a few episodes of cops and Alaska state troopers and knows everything about the job. You’re just another know-nothing who enjoys the luxury of Monday morning QB’ing, a person who gets a 1/4 of the story from a reporter who got half of the story.

        Furthermore, you’re a child when it comes to ways of local gov’t. You don’t get the chance to tell a DA, Mayor, or Borough Council that you’re not going to attend their press event – unless you’re looking to become unemployed. You never, ever, embarrass and elected official – you never win that fight and they never lose that fight.

        1. avatar Wood says:

          “You never, ever, embarrass and elected official – you never win that fight and they never lose that fight.”

          And that right there is a huge problem. Elected civil servants need to be taught their places from time to time. None of the bastards are as important as they think they are, and they are all replaceable.

        2. avatar Former Water Walker says:

          Unless they go to PRISON…

        3. avatar Panzer says:

          Dano, I apologize. My comments were cut short for some reason. I’ll blame the computer, but it was probably me doing something wrong. I will not attempt to recreate my comments other than to say the SWAT/CERT/EMT responders are paid to do just that. Like another commenter said, they are PROFESSIONAL RESPONDERS and nothing more.

          Since the responders are paid to do their jobs well, that is what I expect of them when I call them to assist in an emergency. Unless you were there, you probably know little more of the story than what we both have seen/read in the media. I resent your comments about being a “know-nothing” commenter. You have made rash assumptions about me, my knowledge of law enforcement, and my attitude toward SWAT/CERT/EMT. Aren’t you guilty of doing the same thing you have accused me of??

          You also naively accuse me of being a “child when it comes to the way of local government.” FYI – I worked for state and local government for 35 years, so I think I have a fair idea as to how government works. I think the emergency professionals who attended could have redirected the attention to the real hero of this story – the doctor who saved the day and made it an easy job for the responders. I just find it strange, from the limited info provided in this blog, that the wrong responders were praised.

          Advice for you – quit being a “know-nothing” and “child” when a person has a different view point than you have. You need to be tolerant of views that do not fit into your worldview. Isn’t that the Democratic mantra?

        4. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          Sorry, Dano but you sound like a pretty typical run-of-the-mill, municipal apparatchik. There is no “default cop-hate” on TTAG unless you interpret the distinct lack of ritualized praise as evidence of cop-hate (many do). There is, instead, pretty cold-eyed appraisal. In point of fact, the “first responders” didn’t show up to save the day, they showed up to the sweep up the leavings. The real hero was a single good-guy with a gun who saved his life and the lives of others by violating hospital rules. That he was virtually ignored by self-congratulatory officials is telling.

        5. avatar GS650G says:

          If I need someone to kick in my door, shoot the dog and tie me up while ransacking my house I’ll call the Delaware county Swat team. Outside of that, I don’t need them for much, hence the arms.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Read it carefully, Dano, we are harping on the mayor who praised the wrong person. And did they or did they not save anyone? If not, why are they accepting anything over this?
      The doctor should have a building named after him.

    3. avatar doesky2 says:

      … “default cop hate” …

      You reap what you sow.

  12. avatar Karl Kani says:

    I read this article today (I’m closeby to where it happened, was born there). I was shocked they took so much credit for pretty much doing nothing. That’s one industry that loves to pat itself on the back for normal things. The ONLY person that should have been recognized for heroic actions is the doctor. Not like a dozen other people that showed up after the scene to stand around.

  13. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    “The emergency response was unbelievable to get there after it was over and to draw the chalk outline and write up the report,” county council Chairman Tom McGarrigle MEANT to say.

  14. avatar the ruester says:

    Hey, “everyone gets a trophy,” right?

  15. avatar Lolinski says:

    Why was the 5-0 honored? They didn’t do anything except show up after the fight.

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