Guns and Gear
A police officer guards the scene of a shooting at the Mercy-Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania on July 24, 2014.  REUTERS/Charles Mostoller A police officer guards the scene of a shooting at the Mercy-Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania on July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller  

Doctor ‘Saved Lives’ By Shooting Hospital Gunman

Photo of Chuck Ross
Chuck Ross
Reporter

A Pennsylvania police chief says that a doctor undoubtedly saved lives after he shot a gunman who opened fire Thursday in an incident that left a hospital case worker dead.

The gunman, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, opened fire at Mercy Elizabeth Hospital, just outside of Philadelphia, shortly after entering an office with the case worker, the Associated Press reports.

Witnesses said that when they opened the office door after hearing shouting, they saw Plotts with a gun. The witnesses closed the office door and called 911. Minutes later, they heard gun shots.

Plotts had shot and killed a 53 year-old female case worker. He sustained several critical gun shot wounds himself from the gun of a hospital psychiatrist. The psychiatrist suffered a graze wound to his head. Plotts was taken into custody.

“Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives,” said Yeadon police chief Donald Molineux, according to the Associated Press.

“Without that firearm, [the shooter] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition,” Molineux said.

District attorney Jack Whelan said that Plotts has had other run-ins with the staff in the past, though the exact nature of the altercations was unknown. Whelan said he did not know if the doctor was carrying a gun as a precaution because of those previous interactions, according to the AP.

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