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Friday, July 25, 2014
Official: Hospital Gunman Intended to Kill Others
“A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.
“Dr. Lee Silverman emptied his chamber, striking patient Richard Plotts several times. Plotts by then had shot the caseworker in the face and fired several shots at Silverman, including one that grazed his temple and another that struck his thumb, official said.
“Plotts had 39 unspent bullets on him when he was wrestled to the ground at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, authorities say — and police believe he had planned to use them.
“‘I believe that if the doctor did not have a firearm, (and) the doctor did not utilize the firearm, he'd be dead today, and I believe that other people in that facility would also be dead,’ Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said Friday…
“‘When the caseworker was shot, (Silverman) crouched down behind the desk to avoid him being shot,’ Whelan said. ‘He was able to reach for his weapon, and realizing it was a life-or-death situation, was able to engage the defendant in the exchange of gunfire.’
“The struggle spilled into the hallway, where another doctor and caseworker jumped in to help Silverman and secure Plotts' weapon, Whelan said…
“Hospital policy bars anyone except on-duty law enforcement officers from carrying weapons on campus, a Mercy Health System spokeswoman said. She otherwise declined to discuss why Silverman was armed at work.”
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