Wednesday, March 4, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

By
From page A7 | July 25, 2014 |

DARBY, Pa. — A doctor who was grazed by gunfire from a patient in his office at a suburban hospital on Thursday helped stop him by apparently returning fire with his own weapon and severely injuring him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said.

The patient opened fire after entering the office with the caseworker, District Attorney Jack Whelan said. Witnesses reported hearing yelling before the gunshots.

Several hours after the shooting, investigators had only limited information on what happened inside the closed office but believe the doctor, a psychiatrist, “from all accounts, would have acted in self-defense,” Whelan said.

The doctor, who suffered a graze wound to his head, “faced a situation where his life was in jeopardy,” Whelan said.

Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux said that, “without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives.”

“Without that firearm, this guy (the patient) could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition,” Molineux said.

The dead caseworker was identified only as a 53-year-old woman who had entered the doctor’s office with the patient before the gunfire erupted. Police said they were trying to find relatives to notify.

Two guns were recovered, Whelan said. Authorities said the motive for the shooting was unknown.

The patient, who was critically injured and was taken into custody, was identified as Richard Plotts, an Upper Darby resident in his mid-30s.

The prosecutor said Plotts had been involved in previous incidents with staff, but he did not know their nature. He also said he did not know if that is why the doctor had a gun or if the doctor would have been required to have a permit.

After the door of the office was closed, staff members heard loud arguing inside, opened the door and noticed the patient had a gun, Whelan said. They then closed the door and dialed 911. Gunshots were heard a short time later, just before 2:30 p.m.

After Plotts emerged from the office, another doctor and a caseworker helped wrestle him to the floor of the hallway and grabbed his weapon, Whelan said. By that point he had already been severely wounded from several shots, he said.

“They acted vigilantly. They acted bravely,” Whelan said.

The exchange of gunfire occurred on the third floor of the Wellness Center at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, a 204-bed community teaching hospital just southwest of Philadelphia.

Authorities said there are no surveillance cameras in the doctor’s office or the waiting area outside. They also said the center had no metal detectors.

“Do you evaluate that now … in light of this incident to make sure people are safe, especially in what can be a dangerous environment?” Whelan asked.

Patients waiting in the first-floor lobby reported a tense scene when police arrived and ordered everyone out. Most of the patients were elderly.

“I dozed off, and I heard the cop shouting, ‘Come on, come on, get out!” said Millicent Russell, 73, of Lansdowne, who was waiting for a 3 p.m. appointment. “There were people with walkers and canes and stuff. All these cops were outside running here and there with these guns.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • BobJuly 25, 2014 - 6:41 am

    There you go, that's the correct result, teach gun safety in school just like I learned teach home economics, wonder why they quite teaching that? Maybe to be more dependent on fast food, a conspiracy? Just like Goodyear, Firestone and GM making sure our rail system died so they could sell buses and tires

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
County honors Meadows Trigueiro as Woman of the Year

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Police shut down Fairfield street after shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 13 Comments | Gallery

 
Celebrity chef motivates Armijo students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
State schedules work on Highway 12

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Bridge work to shut down Highway 12 east of Rio Vista

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

Highway 12 Association to meet this month

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Caltrans reschedules work on J-Mack Ferry

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
 
 
Robots, raucous businessmen set to arrive on big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Teen hit by SUV remains in hospital

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
 
 
Fairfield police log: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Fairfield police log: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun police log: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Enrollment of non-residents to be capped at some UC campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

US / World

California survey finds Sierra snowpack far below normal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Ex-CIA chief admits sharing military secrets with mistress

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Lawmakers taking another crack at expanding gun checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Agents target industry helping Chinese women have US babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
Family of girl declared brain-dead sues Oakland hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

US marshals say man killed by Los Angeles police was wanted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
72 passengers reach settlements in Asiana crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Netanyahu warns US ‘bad deal’ would put Iran on nuclear path

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Mines, bombs slow Iraqi advance on Islamic State-held Tikrit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
India orders TV stations not to give rapist a platform

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Israelis worry about inequality, not Iran

By Daniel Gordis | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
Editorial cartoon: March 3-4, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Minority outreach that works

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 4, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Mushrooms are nutrient-packed, with a deep, savory flavor

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

 
Get ready to add white to the rainbow of produce you eat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: March 4, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

My husband and I want different things in our retirement

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Apollo to celebrate Holiday birthday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Oprah’s Chicago studios to close down

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fashion week moves Milan to Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

.

Sports

Bumgarner hit hard in spring debut, A’s beat Giants 9-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
 
Vanden girls roll, advance to SJS championship game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

Rudy Gay, Kings hand Knicks worst loss of season, 124-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cubs’ scramble on Wrigley Field hits bump when mayor balks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders officially release S Tyvon Branch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Trooper: Fingerprints show victim in Hernandez’s rented car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Play ball! Quickly! Baseball tries to speed game this spring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Australian rugby star Hayne signs 3-year deal with 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Maid: Hernandez messed with security camera after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kings bring back former player Divac in front-office role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No ‘floating rubbish’ collection for Olympic sailing venue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal senior Reshanda Gray named Pac-12 Player of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Oil glut could soon lead to plummeting prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
.

Obituaries

Otto Vasak

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John Henry Fechter, Jr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Jacqueline Mendes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert C. Thierry

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garland (Curly) Henry Tackett

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7