We just discussed yesterday the lifting of the injunction on the “Doc for Glocks” law in Florida — a law barring doctors from asking patients about weapons in their home as a general practice. Now Pennsylvania Dr. Lee Silverman has taken the “Docs for Glocks” approach in a more literal direction. After patient Richard Plotts, 49, (left) pulled out a gun and started shooting people, Silverman pulled out his own weapon and engaged Plotts in a gun battle — leading to the wounding of both men but stopping Plotts. Plotts by the way was reportedly upset by the hospital’s gun free zone policy.
Notably, Silverman violated the policy at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in bringing the weapon. However, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan praised the pistol-packing psychiatrist: “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.”
Even police chief Donald Molineux showered him with praise: “Without that firearm [Plotts] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition.”
Plotts was standing next to caseworker Theresa Hunt across the desk from Silverman when he suddenly pulled out the gun and shot Hunt point blank in the head. Silverman then took out his own .32-caliber semiautomatic Seecamp and unloaded on Plott.
Plotts was reportedly used a rather old weapon to kill Hunt and injure Silverman. It was a .32-caliber Iver Johnson revolver circa 1940. These guns were once advertised as safe for babies to play with. It is not a gun that you see often today outside of a museum.
Plotts appears to have intended to kill Silverman over the hospital gun policy and both men emptied their weapons. Silverman had graze wounds like Plotts that required hospitalization. Plotts has been a patient of Silverman for 20 years. He is now charged with murder and attempted murder.
54 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Mental Patient Pulls Gun on Psychiatrist . . . Psychiatrist Then Pulls His Own Gun and Shoots Patient”
The majority of persons with mental illness are not violent or dangerous. The minority of mentally ill persons who are a menace to others need to be committed to specialized facilities that can provide long-term treatment, as well as offender rehabilitation where appropriate. This patient (Plotts) not only (consistently) displayed disturbing and violent behavior but also had a pattern of arrests and convictions that would imply a disregard for the law. Dr. Silverman had good reason to believe that Plotts was a menace to others, as well as himself. So, what was Plotts doing in a private outpatient clinic rather than a lock-down forensics unit for the criminally insane or do these places exist anymore? ( I know, state mental hospitals are not currently “politically correct” and besides, they cost money!) Maybe we need to revive the old United Way poster: “Support mental health, or I’ll kill you!” Since gun free zones are a joke anyway, The wellness center at Mercy Hospital could put up a new sign saying: “There are staff members in this facility carrying concealed handguns. YOU GUESS WHICH ONES!
Teejay, not at all. Who is using one example to prove a point? Psychiatrists have been around 100 years or so and Psychiatry Germany admitted responsibility for the WWII Holocaust in 2012.
TL – could I see a cite for your comment about Psychiatry Germany?
Did the psychiatrist then bill for services rendered?
Short answer is yes.
He will not volunteer this information, but one of our occasional commenters on this blog was a first responder before he retired. His unit responded to a gang fight. One of the victims was in critical condition and dying. They got the kid in the back of the ambulance, and our commenter was trying to intubate him…that is…get an airway down his throat so he could breathe and not drown in his own blood. Before the ambulance could start rolling, the rival gang member climbed through the rear door of the ambulance with the intention of finishing what he had started.
Our friend was left with no options. He had a violent teenage attacker armed with a razor-sharp knife in the back of his ambulance, intent on killing the patient on the gurney. The paramedic had no doubt that once the guy finished off his patient, he would be next. He pulled out his pistol, put it to the attackers face and pulled the trigger at point-blank range. Then went back to getting that airway in the patient. Despite his efforts, the kid died in the emergency room.
As for the other kid. He virtually committed suicide by continuing his attempt to murder his victim in the presence of an armed paramedic.
That sounds like a Texan! And oh that sword is scary. It is made out of wood, but I swear you could break somebody ‘s bones or skull very easily. Thankfully, what’s his name the dopehead must have forgotten it.
The sword sounds awesome. 🙂
I watched a trailer for some TV series about Texas wives. There was a woman with a shotgun in her hands. Her daughter said something like, “Mama, what are you so afraid of?” “Not a damn thing.”
Well, I have to do an Irish Poem to stay in shape:
An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm
They say that in matters so clinical,
That therapy and pills are the pinnacle!
But perhaps guys like Plotts
Respond better to shots?
Or so it seems. (Am I being cynical???)
Definitely “for.” Can you think of a better place for a gunfight?
I am not sure if this is an argument for or against weapons in hospitals.
Amen to what you have been saying! I always have my 5 shot 38 within reach. Plus a baseball bat and kitano sword thingy I stole from my last boyfriend. Plus, for Christmas, my dad brought me something to defend my home from gangs of zombies or whatever. Sooo, I will get 60 of them before they get me.
If anyone wants someone to blame for gun crimes, blame the gangs and the mental health system.
I would probably die if I inhaled pepper spray, with my asthma.
It’s an especially good idea for Emergency room and mental health workers to have concealed carry. I imagine in gang areas, it must be pretty dangerous to be attending to the carnage from a gang shootout, with victims and friends from both sides in the same building.
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