Suspect in Pennsylvania hospital shooting charged with murder

Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:09pm EDT

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(Reuters) - A man suspected of opening fire in a Philadelphia-area hospital and shooting dead a case worker before exchanging gunshots with a doctor has been charged with murder, prosecutors said on Sunday.

Richard Plotts, 49, was arraigned late on Saturday in his hospital room and charged with first and third degree murder, attempted murder, assault and other charges in connection with the incident, Delaware County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Emily Harris said.

Plotts walked into the office of psychiatrist Lee Silverman, inside the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center in Darby, for a scheduled appointment on Thursday and pulled a .32-caliber revolver from his waistband.

After arguing about signs banning guns at the facility, he fired two shots, killing social worker Theresa Hunt at point-blank range and grazing Silverman's head, authorities said.

Silverman, himself armed with a .32-caliber semi-automatic weapon, fired six or seven shots in return, hitting Plotts in the abdomen and critically wounding him, authorities said.

Plotts was carrying more than three dozen bullets in his pocket and was trying to reload when two hospital employees wrestled him to the ground, authorities said.

Authorities with a search warrant on Friday found two additional handguns in Plotts' Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania, home, prosecutors said.

Plotts has a long criminal history involving firearms. Philadelphia police stopped Plotts in 1990 for carrying an unlicensed firearm. He later served time for federal bank robbery and after his release from prison, violated parole when he was caught with a gun, prosecutors said.

He was sentenced in 2003 to up to 23 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a gun.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Comments (2)
MargaD wrote:
The man had been under psychiatric care for 20 years, yet he was still able to have a gun. Good job protecting people from those too unstable to own firearms.

Jul 28, 2014 11:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheDeuceman wrote:
“he was still able to have a gun”

Maybe we should have provided an armed guardian to follow this Loony Toons around all the time. In the end, I’ll quote the President of the NRA, “the best way to stop a BAD guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun”. See how that works?

Jul 28, 2014 12:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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