Mercy Hospital DGU Doc [Not Shown] Keeps His Job

Hospital shooting crime scene (courtesy

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.” 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.


  1. avatar JoshinGA says:

    Hopefully “We are reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure a safe environment.” means getting rid of the “gun free zone” nonsense. It doesnt, but one can dream…

    1. avatar Dryw says:

      Cautiously optimistic for some sanity… but I wouldn’t bet the farm.

      Unfortunately, I foresee the got-him-on-the-reload being leveraged fairly heavily.

      “See! SEE!? Got him when he ran out at 10. Restrict round count! Rabble rabble rabble”

    2. avatar Scrubula says:

      It’s a possibility. Many companies have fired people for simply using a gun to prevent a robber with a knife from stealing money. Their decision to do the right thing and let him keep his job is the first step to repealing free fire zones…

      1. avatar Bob says:

        Walgreen’s fired a pharmacist who saved his own life and the lives of two co-workers after he shot assailants who herded them into a back room. This is why I have a lifetime boycott against Walgreen’s and hope you do to.

        1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          the case was Hoven v. Walgreens (WD Mich). He lost in the fed ct. and recently lost on appeal. sad, but yes, boycott walgreen’s. luckily, my employer doesn’t let us use walgreens for prescriptions. 🙂

    3. avatar Bob says:

      How much do you want to bet that they told him he could keep his job as long as he never carries a gun into the hospital again?

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        And, lucky for him, he didn’t listen the first time. Me thinks he won’t obey a second time either.

        1. avatar Gene says:

          One can hope.

      2. avatar Wiregrass says:

        I bet he had a job at another hospital before he had this one.

    4. avatar Stinkeye says:

      “Reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure a safe environment” is code for “have a series of meetings over several months and eventually decide to hire one extra security guard to sleep at the front desk”. Changing the “gun-free zone” policy will not even be considered or discussed.

      1. avatar Duke says:

        Tragically this is almost certainly going to be the case.

  2. avatar DJ9 says:

    Waiting to hear whether or not they REALLY keep the doc, long-term, or this is just a short-term pacifier.

    1. If he wants to relocate, perhaps someone will offer him a job that he wants. He has shown his mettle.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      What does “long term” mean? Doctors change jobs all the time. Hospitals change staff members all the time. However it works out, this doc will have his pick of jobs if Mercy, uh, has no mercy.

      Personally, I can’t wait to read his book.

      1. avatar Nurse K says:

        Ralph, “long-term” would imply that the first patient complaint against him will be used to fire him if they are just saying it to appease. That is what I am thinking. Hope more hospitals allow employees to carry.

  3. avatar Taylor TX says:

    Mercy Hospital, just like in Left for Dead, too funny. Not sure how I didnt get that until now.

    Outstanding that he keeps his job, interesting details slowing pouring out of this incident.

  4. avatar Cknarf says:

    “A doctor with a semi-automatic gun”

    Wow. I thought he used a flintlock pistol.

    Wish the news would just say ‘handgun’ lol.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      This language is better for us. The gungrabbers are trying to demonize semi-automatics, and this case really undercuts their anti-gun narrative.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        I agree. I nearly expected to hear about a “deadly shooting” involving “military grade automatic assault pistols supplied by the NRA.”

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          Don’t forget: “And probably using cop killer bullets”

        2. avatar Jon says:

          Oh, cop-killer bullets…well, yes, of course, can’t be without those now.

          Can anyone tell me where you can buy some? My local gun store & shooting range told me they don’t sell them.

    2. avatar Gene says:

      It could have been a revolver.

  5. avatar Excedrine says:

    Wow. REAL “common sense” wins out for once. This time.

  6. avatar Mecha-Ben says:

    If he’d been fired, there would’ve been a media sh*tstorm. I, too, am wondering if they’re reconsidering their fish-in-a-barrel no-gun policy.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Yup. Terminating his privileges or position would have been a PR nightmare.
      Heck, they may even say he was allowed to carry due to the volatility of some of his patients or something.

      As a side, the psychiatrist that did our psych evals carried.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        We had a judge who would carry religiously. He made a name for himself when he pulled out his personal gun on a felony stop – told the deputy that if he had his gun out that I’d better have it out as well.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      There’s a cost issue here. If the hospital wants psychiatrists to commute to Darby but actually wants to enforce a no-concealed-carry policy, the hospital will have to provide expensive armed escorts for the shrinks. Darby is a very high crime area and the shrink is seeing unstable residents.

  7. avatar John Schwabe says:

    Thank goodness this doc is going to keep his job. The hospital and medical school where Im a student is a gun free zone as well, and is in the most dangerous part of town I ever visit. Unfortunately, the entire campus is a gun free zone. Im even breaking policy by carrying a knife there. This doctors actions are commendable and I wish I had the stones to carry at my own hospital.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Future Doc, I have just the prescription. The very tiny N.A.A. Mini-Revolvers.

      Pump 5 Rounds 22LR into assailant as needed.

      1. avatar John Schwabe says:

        Ill have to look in to those. Ive also considered appendix carrying my Bodyguard 380 but Ill probably just stick with the knife until I finish training.

        This doc can go work somewhere else if he gets fired. If I get kicked out of school Ill have six figure debt and no marketable job skills. Its a risk I wish I didn’t have to take, but the policy against guns is effectively disarming me for now.

  8. avatar Gunr says:

    Doc fired until he emptied his gun, and Plott’s fired 10 rounds! It’s a miracle no one else was hit, The bullets probably go through hospital walls, as easy as they go through walls in a house.
    I’m not in any way saying the the Doc shouldn’t have fired that many rounds, he needed to take out the bad guy with what ever it took.

    1. avatar Jim R says:

      The sheetrock they use in hospitals isn’t any tougher than the sheetrock hanging in your home.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        You can bet it’s not 3/8″ and may be double layer

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          Probably for soundproofing, patients screaming in one room, doesn’t set too well with patients in an adjacent room??

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      This is how most “gunfights” where two (or more) opponents are doing the shooting typically go.

      I think it was Craig Douglas that referred to “whack a mole” in an interview once, and I thought that was most a humorous and particularly apt way to describe it.

  9. avatar ST says:

    I’m betting after the heat dies down,he’ll be dismissed for being tardy 30 seconds or some other BS reason.

    Another point; an office is second only to an elevator for being an absolutely horrible place to have a gunfight at. No cover, barely any concealment,and you’re at bad breath distance with the bad guy.

    1. avatar Bob20 says:

      I am sure you are right. I have had my share of jobs where I was surrounded by liberals. I was pretty good at staying below the radar, but many co-workers weren’t so lucky. It will be death by a thousand cuts until he leaves or they push him out due to “performance” or “behavior”. It is probably time for him to relocate to a free state.

      1. avatar ropingdown says:

        It’s Darby. His colleagues are likely secretly praying that Silverman’s armed and in the room when the next nut job comes after THEM.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      ST, you are the gloomiest guy since Eeyore.

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    Why we only need 2 or 3 rounds…7 at the most in Newyorkistan. And what kind of fiend would ever need 30round “clips”? Damn good outcome.

  11. avatar Mike says:

    If the doc had been a resident in IL he would be a felon right now regardless of how the hospital administration reacted, surely the mental patient’s parents would prattle on about what a good boy he was and some liberal prosecutor would attempt to throw the book at him.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      In Illinois, carrying in a “prohibited area” is a Class B Misdemeanor. Not a felony.

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    The cited article from states that the good doctor Silverman had a valid carry license and that Plotts did not. Excellent! It also seems that Plotts was a convicted felon with a bank robbery and firearms violations on his record.

    If the article is correct, Plotts went to the hospital intending to murder not only his caseworker, but also his shrink. Fortunately, Silverman had other ideas.

    The hospital says it’s re-evaluating its firearms policy, and I believe the spokesman. What will it do? My guess is that it will retain its present policy but might amend it with a formal procedure to allow workers to apply to the hospital administrator for specific permission to carry on the job.

  13. avatar Bob Watson says:

    From ABC news:
    “Plotts had a history of violence with arrests for simple assault and a federal bank robbery as well as illegal firearms possession. Plotts did not have a license for the gun that he used”

    Imagine that, a bank robber without a license for a gun, carrying a gun in a gun free zone, to an appointment with a psychiatrist. Clearly we need more laws, rules and regulations so this does not happen again.

  14. avatar MiniMe says:

    And cue in Bloomies puppet moms throwing a hissy fit in 5.. 4.. 3..

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      PLEASE let them throw a hissy fit.

      This case gives lie to EVERYTHING they always claim.

      Good guys with guns don’t stop bad guys with guns. Lie

      Good guy with a gun has never stopped a spree killer. Lie

      You only need x rounds for self defense. Lie

      Gun Free Zones make people safer. Lie

      Violent Felons follow Gun Free Zone signs. Lie

      Background checks and laws against felons owning guns stops “gun violence” instigated by violent felons. Lie

      Police / Hired Security can keep you safe. Lie

      Corporate policy against personal self defense can keep you safe. Lie

      Sure there are a few others.

      So, yeah. Let them sing out on this one. Every chance we have to expose their lies is a chance to win a ‘fence sitter.’

      1. avatar jwray89 says:

        Good points. We won’t ever modify the constitution for the right to bear arms and so there will always be guns for criminals; we must let licensed citizens carry too. This case pushed me off the fence.

        1. avatar Texas Grandmother says:

          I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to follow the rules – that’s what keeps us in a society that is not in chaos. So, I did get a CCW license. But why should we even have to do that when we are covered by the 2nd Amendment and our rights should not be infringed on? Gun-free zones simply make us sitting ducks and that is unacceptable! Less gun control and more common sense!

      2. avatar Captain Colon says:

        This is exactly why they seem to be almost entirely ignoring it…they know they CAN’T say anything about it because it will only bring attention to the fact that they are now and have always been straight-up liars.

  15. avatar Joe says:

    Mike- I’m pretty sure that first offense for carry in a gfz in illinois isn’t a felony. At least not yet.

  16. avatar Biofire says:

    Remember this incident when people say you don’t need more than 10 rounds (or 7, depending on where you live).

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      I live in a city where two, three and four man robbery crews armed with pistols and rifles taking down cell phone shops and IHOP/Denny’s restaurants is shifting from weekly to near-daily frequency. I’m not even sure that twin AR-pistols with Sig braces and 30 round magazines, aka Jerry Miculek-style, is sufficient self-defense armament these days.

  17. avatar Bunny says:

    This hospital does not want the wrath of the NRA making their life a nightmare if they fired him. The NRA furthers my interest but they also protect firearms owners from liberal idiots trying to make a political statement. He might not be a NRA but he is one of is.

    *sends $25 to NRA*

  18. avatar WV Cycling says:

    It pisses me off that my taxes went toward that sweet EOtech on that AR…

  19. avatar Marc says:

    I raise my glass to the policy breakers may you keep is safe when noone else will!

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      As long as you can keep it quiet about carrying, you can probably get away with it. If an actual DGU should ever take place, your having carried likely then falls under the unwritten “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness, than to ask for permission” rule.

      Still, there are a lot of risks to carrying at work in defiance of policy, particularly if anyone else knows that you’re carrying on that day or even that you carry in general. The worst case scenario is you get involved in some heated, private discussion with someone, even over something legitimately business-related, but not necessarily, and they then falsely accuse you of having pulled a gun. If you do indeed have it on you when the police arrive, and the police WILL arrive, then the presumption is going to be that you did it.

      1. avatar Calvin says:

        And I can’t ask forgiveness if I’m dead

      2. avatar Amok! says:

        Its really called the Law of Competing Harms

  20. avatar Mad Max says:

    I work at a University with a “no guns” policy. The policy has an exception for individuals specifically authorized to concealed-carry by the administration. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.

    At one time, they were considering having many of the support workers carry but they didn’t pursue the idea.

  21. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    My guess, as a hospital employee myself, is that they will continue to have a “no firearms” policy as a CYA against civil suits in the case of injury/death caused by an employee. It could be used as a grounds for termination if they catch you with the firearm but the storm of condemnation should you be fired for defending your life or the lives of others makes it unlikely that you would lose your job.

    My hospital has a “no firearms allowed on premises” policy but nothing is posted at any entrance to the hospital so I’m sure many visitors carry on a regular basis. They just don’t want employees packing from a liability perspective.

  22. avatar DBM says:

    So whats the big deal about him using a chair for cover and emptying his pistol on the guy? It was probably laying on its side and the only cover available at that instant. The fact he emptied his mag and hit the guy 3 times in the chest means he shoots better than any New York City Cop. And seeing how he doesn’t shoot people for a living I’m going to rate him an even better shot!

  23. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    my employer does not allow it (even leaving in our vehicles) but i have taken to point out the potential liability (both real and public relations) when (not if) something happens since our parking lot is in a crappy area . . . .

  24. avatar James Moon says:

    My hospital also has a no gun on premises rule. It pisses me off because as usual it is located in a horrible part of town and I don’t know how to get through a metal detector unnoticed.

    1. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Even in a good part of town, hospitals can be dangerous places. They have pharmacies, which can attract druggies. There are family disputes that end up in ER’s, where anything can happen. There are gang fights that start someplace else, but can continue at the hospital. And, of course, they have routine parking lot foot traffic of people who are overcome, distracted and easy prey for robbers.

      I’m glad that in Texas, hospitals are no longer statutorily designated gun-free zones. They are allowed to post the formal, legally-binding no-guns signs, though, but most that I’ve seen do not.

  25. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    The hospital is stuck in an impossible public relations situation. You just know they desperately want to get rid of the doctor and see him prosecuted, to serve as an example to anyone else who’d violate their anti-gun policy and perhaps expose the hospital to civil liability.

    However, he’s the hero of the moment and he is untouchable….for the moment. Expect the hospital’s “evaluation” of their policies to drag on for many months, perhaps more than a year, and for its finding to be inconclusive and the policy unchanged. Concurrently, watch for this doctor to be set upon his way toward employment elsewhere, very quietly, by year’s end.

  26. avatar Full Cleveland says:

    Dr. Persona non Grata. Hope he ends up where he well be appreciated.

  27. avatar David P says:

    Didn’t MDA say that a concealed carrier never stops a gunman. Maybe she needs her head checked, I got a doctor for her. I would love to see them try to twist this. But I am guessing the news will drop this quick.

  28. avatar Del says:

    I hope one of the condtions is that he not carry anymore.

  29. avatar John Fritz - HMFIC says:

    I worked in a hospital years ago. The reason that guy is still employed with no (that we know of) disciplinary action? He’s a doc. He operates under a different set of rules than the common (easily replaced) employees.

    If I had done something like what he did back during my hospital career, I’d currently be in jail/not be in jail and I’d be arranging the liquidation of everything of value I own to pay my lawyer.

  30. avatar Geoff says:

    IMO, he keeps his job for NOW. He will be fired or forced to quit sooner or later. That’s the way it always goes. “Gun Free Zone”, he violated Hospital Policy. They will burn him for it eventually.

  31. avatar Ryan says:

    Is it just me, or does the cops rifle have one of those tacti-cool magazine grips on it? If they are going to waste taxpayer money, at least put it towards decent accessories, not stupid crap like this.

  32. avatar Dan says:

    The good doctor WILL lose his privileges at this hospital. The facility may wait a while and may take the effort to manufacture an excuse so they can save face but trust me…..they HATE the fact that he had a gun, used it and saved lives so they WILL remove him from the medical staff. It’s just that this hospital might decide to be more subtle about it to avoid bad PR and possible legal entanglements.

  33. avatar sonnyroofy says:

    “A doctor with a semi-automatic gun”

    I thought the media used the term “Glock” for all semi auto handguns

  34. avatar JAS says:

    “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.”’

    Seems to me like the good doctor might have been carrying a pocket semi-auto, maybe a .380, which would limit him to ~7-rounds.

  35. Wait…you mean sometimes the good guy does win?


  36. avatar drew says:

    Is the first shooter getting in trouble for bringing a gun into a gun free zone?

  37. avatar Philip Mehegan says:

    Good thing it was clarified that the doc was not the tacticool cop in the pic! After all the hubbub about semi-auto pistols I almost assumed it was!

  38. avatar Dave Weaver says:

    Mercy Hospital DGU Doc Keeps His Job

    Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital – smart move.

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