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If you were asked to name parts of the country where you’re more likely than most to get false reports of someone with a gun, Texas probably wouldn’t make most people’s lists. San Francisco? Sure. Temple, Texas? Not so much. But that’s what’s happened – twice – at local hospitals that had construction work going on at the time…

People seem to be mistakenly hearing gun shots. A lot. From

Temple police and Bell County sheriff’s deputies responded Tuesday morning to a report of a gunman firing shots on the fourth floor of the Temple VA Hospital at 1901 S. 1st St., but the gunman turned out to be a construction worker using a nail gun.

Responding officers were called off within minutes after the initial call went out.

Police said a nail gun that construction crews were using directly outside of the entrance caused an echo inside the building that led the caller to believe shots were being fired.

And that wasn’t the only example of a false gun report at a local hospital.

A similar incident happened in September at Scott & White Hospital after police received numerous 911 calls about gunfire at the Center for Advanced Medicine building.

Police later established that the calls started coming in at about the time that a construction crew began using nail guns to work on the roof of the second floor of the building.

Could this be due to the fact that hospitals are designated gun-free zones? Are people still on edge because of the Ft. Hood shooting (Temple’s about ten miles away)? Enquiring minds want to know.

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  1. god people are jittery and stupid. how could someone confuse construction workers laboring to improve these hospitals with gun welding BG’s? must of been a fun day at work for those guys..

    • “Gun welding BGs.”

      I normally ignore the typos on this site, but you just came up with the greatest nickname for gun control advocates I’ve ever heard!

    • PAT’s are definitely loud. I’ve used them quite a bit. They use brass cased blanks loaded in strips and beat the living hell out of roto hammering and setting anchors.

    • Yup; powder nail guns are a hell of a lot better than the alternative, especially when you need to put a banner up on the side of a building.

      Honestly though, people don’t generally notice .22’s going off, especially sporadically.

      As for roofing, they usually used compressed air rather than powder, so these cases were probably a case of inconvenient acoustics than anything else…

    • So you admit its possible to confuse the two and then you proceed to say “…but freaking out over just hearing a gun shot is stupid to begin with.”

      You mean to say that you would not get excited it you heard Gunshots inside a hospital?


      • Why would I necessarily need to call the cops? If I heard what sounded like a gun shot but noticed that the hospital staff seemed nonchalant about it, I might be tempted to ask the staff, but I would not worry about calling the cops or pulling my own weapon.

  2. a sign “under construction” on the ft doors would have helped eased a few nervous-nellies

  3. Wait, so the point of this article was what?….

    If you think you hear gunshots at a hospital you shouldn’t call the cops?

    Sure in hindsight, it sounds like an over-reaction, but you can be damn sure that if I thought I was hearing gunshots at hospital I would call the cops.

  4. I’ve not been to Scott & White (S&W) in Temple since I got my Texas carry license so I cannot attest to that location.

    Texas law is pretty specific that concealed carry at a Hospital is allowed unless the owner notifies you by the exact sign covered under Texas Code 30.06. The S&W facilities which I have been to recently post a sign which does not meet the requirements of 30.06 and thus are useless.

    From the Texas Department of Public Safety:
    Furthermore, you may not carry handguns in hospitals or nursing homes, amusement parks, places of worship or at government meetings, if signs are posted prohibiting them. Businesses also may post signs prohibiting handguns on their premises based on criminal trespass laws.

  5. I think that the 911 caller really nailed it. There’s no reason to hammer the poor person just because he or she screwed up. The caller never saw the tool, but that doesn’t mean that the caller wasn’t on the level.

    The hospital should have a special drill for times like this. There’s no reason for people to bolt like a bunch of nuts, even for a bit.

  6. Having spent six years at S&W and the VA in Temple as a med student and radiology resident in the 1990s, a sizable percentage of the radiology staff are CHL holders and I would expect that a shooter in the radiology department would face not only return fire but a hail of criticism regarding shot placement, caliber selection and tactical decision-making.

    It may be a hospital, but it’s still Texas. Were I to guess, it would probably be the internal medicinie weenies that dropped the dime. The radiologists I knew would just take care of business.

    • I love the inter-disciplinary sniping (internal medicine weenies). From my health care experience, I’d expect the weenitude to come from neurology. What a PITA bunch.

      • Nah, neurology is on the fourth floor. They’d never hear it.

        One of our staff guys was a three-tour Vietnam-era ex-SF guy. He was our instructor, had some classroom stuff and a range session. This was about the time Texas started issuing CHLs, there was a lot of interest in shooting. Needless to say, we were always respectful of Dr. Brauer and never tried to sneak up on him.

        My favorite story about Dr. Brauer was that during a terrible thunderstorm he was in the shower. He woke up, in the dark, on the floor, and found that he had at some point lost bladder & bowel control. His house had been hit by lightning with him standing in water and he had survived.

        The legend in the department was, “GOD tried to kill Brauer, and failed.”

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