Details of the defensive gun use at Philly’s Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital are now emerging. “A doctor with a semi-automatic gun and a caseworker who was “nothing short of heroic” were able to wound and then subdue an armed psychiatric patient after he had killed another caseworker and appeared intent of reloading and shooting more people in a Pennsylvania hospital, police said today.” abcnews.go.com says “The patient, Richard Plotts, 49, suddenly pulled a gun out of his waistband and shot his caseworker, Theresa Hunt, in the head at point blank range while inside psychiatrist Lee Silverman’s office for a scheduled appointment on Thursday. Hunt was killed instantly . . .
Silverman dove to the floor, pulled a semi-automatic pistol out his pocket and had a furious close range gun battle with Plotts, who police said fired at least 10 rounds. The doctor, who was using a chair for protection, aimed his gun at Plotts and fired until it was empty, District Attorney Jack Whelan said today in recounting what happened.”
Emptied his gun? Used a chair for protection? Never mind: Dr. Silverman eliminated the threat. Result without any further loss of life. More good news! Mercy is not going to take any action against the doc, despite the fact that the hospital is a designated “gun-free zone.” Here’s a statement from their Facebook page:
We are thankful for the swift action of Dr. Lee Silverman, Dr. Jeffrey Dekret, John D’Alonzo and the other colleagues and visitors who took brave and difficult action during yesterday’s tragic event. We extend our condolences to Theresa Hunt’s family, and we are praying for Dr. Silverman’s speedy recovery. We look forward to Dr. Silverman’s return to serving patients at our hospital. We will do all we can to support the victims during this difficult time.
We continue to work with the Delaware County authorities to understand fully the details of the event. We are reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure a safe environment. We are committed to serving as a compassionate and healing presence in our communities, and we are grateful for the outpouring of community support.