RISKAlert Report Updated:  Jan. 8, 2018

The Long Beach, Calif. Police Department named John Alexander Mendoza, 58, of Redondo Beach, Calif., as the man who shot his two colleagues, one died at the scene, and other was injured at the scene, on Friday afternoon, January 5, 2018.

Attorneys at the Perona, Langer, Beck, Serbin, Mendoza and Harrison firm   in the Long Beach neighborhood of Bixby Knolls, were attending the firm’s holiday party, when Mendoza entered the offices shooting.

Major A. Langer, the firm’s Managing Partner, 75, was killed and Ronald Beck, 64, was wounded in what police called a workplace violence incident.  After shooting Langer and Beck, Mendoza turned the gun on himself. The shooting occurred during a holiday party at the firm when others were present.

Mendoza had apparently been fired earlier in the day, but returned to the firm’s party.  On a report of an active shooter, Long Beach police officers swarmed to the office building. Believing an active shooter was still at work, police formed a small team and quickly went into the office looking for the gunman and any victims, according to a police source briefed on the incident. As they scoured the building, police reportedly came upon multiple groups of screaming and crying workers still hiding or trying to flee, but eventually confirmed the gunman was dead.

The firm has eleven offices in southern California and represented clients including Motley Crue, Pamela Anderson and  Tommy Lee.

Mendoza had worked at Perona Langer Beck for 10 years, said Michael Waks, a lawyer who also has offices in the same building where Perona Langer Beck is located in Long Beach. Mendoza specialized in workers compensation cases.


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Jealous Saudi Man shots Doctor Who Delivered His Baby

RISK Alert  No.856,  May 25,2016

Jealous Saudi Man Shoots Doctor Who Successfully Delivered his Baby Because he Saw His Wife Naked During the Baby’s Birth

Violence against healthcare professionals is not limited to the United States.

In April, 2016, a Saudi man went to the King Fahad Medical City hospital in Ridyah,
Saudi Arabia, because his wife had gone labor.   OB-GYN Doctor Muhannan Al Zabn was
assigned to the woman, and the doctor successfully delivered her baby.

However, the woman’s husband was not happy that another male had seen his
wife’s private parts during the delivery, so he hatched a plot to shoot the doctor. He
arranged to meet the doctor at a later time, to thank him for the successful delivery.
Jealous Saudi Shoots Doctor
He met the young doctor in the hospital garden, he pulled out his gun,  and shot him at close range.  Emergency personnel poured out of the hospital after hearing the gunfire, and took the critically injured doctor into surgery, where he was
expected to recover from his injuries.

The father was arrested and taken into custody by Saudi law enforcement.  He had
requested a female physician, but with restrictions on education for women, there
are few female physicians in the Middle East. #Hospital Violence #HospitalShooting

Lessons  Learned : 

1.  Violence against healthcare is happening all over the world.

2. Healthcare staff need strong protective measures to protect themselves.

3. Be aware of local cultural preferences when working abroad.

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What Could Possibly Happen in a Beautiful Place Like Charleston?

Churches all over the US will be very reflective this coming Sunday.  They will be feeling sorry for the victims’ of the terrible shooting in Charleston, South California that killed nine church-goers who had assembled for a Bible study group at the Emanuel AME Church on Wednesday evening.

After the Shooting at the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina

After the Shooting at the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina

Even non-church goers were shocked at the mass shooting, and when I heard that he actually sat with the group for an hour before he pulled out his 45 and start shooting. I was raised in a typical Baptist family and my father taught Adult Sunday School for 36 years!
In those days, it never occurred to me that church was not the safest place in the world, however recent events prove that churches turn out to be very high on the list of places where there could be a possible attack, regardless of the religion, the geo location, or the racial composition of the group.

A recent FBI study showed that places of worship account for almost 4% of active shooter events (from the recent FBI Study of Active Shooter Events between 2000 -2014.)

While the media analyzes the event, the psychology of the shooter, his lack of education, his anti-social tendencies and extreme hatred, and the fact that he was taking mind-altering prescription drugs, I’d like to suggest that churches around the country DO A BETTER JOB OF PROTECTING THEMSELVES, THEIR CONGREGATIONS, AND THEIR FACILITIES.

As a Security Risk analyst, I get about 60 calls every week from facilities like hospitals, and manufacturing plants, and government agencies, and how many calls do I get from Houses of Worship?  Maybe 1 every 6 months!  That tells me that churches haven’t gotten serious about security.

No matter how strong your belief system is, church leaders need to understand that violence encourages more violence.  There have been so many violent incidents in churches in the past few years that the Department of Homeland Security even published a Guide just for Houses of Worship on how to protect themselves.

It’s time to think about what it would take to improve the security program in your facility
to prevent an active shooter event from happening to you.  And luckily, we have a guide to work with, and a Risk-Based Security program for churches, synagogues and other religious facilities.

Hospitals have had to address similar issues and have effectively used new technology to become less of a target.  And hospitals have a lot in common with houses of worship because they are generally considered places of refuge, and they can both be associated with deep emotions like birth, death, and, even worse, marriage!

The entire security community has developed incredible solutions to keep facilities safe.  If you’d like to see how you can improve your organization’s security profile, starting with a Security Risk Assessment, contact me at; and I’ll send you the latest guidelines and a simple spreadsheet on how to start your own risk-based security program to improve safety and security in your House of Worship!

ED Visitor in Guelph General Hospital is Shot and Killed by Hospital Police

RiskAlert LogoCase Study # 714 – Guelph, Canada

Date:  June 1, 2015

Emergency Department Patient in Canadian
Hospital is Shot and Killed by Hospital Police.

Dateline:  May 21, 2015

In a rare hospital shooting, a Guelph General Hospital’s emergency department became a crime scene when a woman, covered with blood, ran out of the hospital screaming that her boyfriend was shooting.

Minutes later, two Guelph police officers shot and killed the man accused of shooting his girlfriend.  Witnesses at the scene said that they screaming.  A witness on the scene reported, “All I heard was gunshots, the chick’s  just like, ‘Help, my boyfriend’s shooting at me,’ and she comes running out,”

Guelph General Hospital President Marianne Walker praised the hospital staff, saying “They put the patients first, and thought of themselves second.”

Few details were released, pending investigation, but a source reported that the “boyfriend” had been at the hospital many times before, according to a source who did not want to be identified.

Homewood Health, one of Canada’s largest addiction and mental health centres, is located near the hospital.  Some of the bystanders suspected it might be a case of domestic violence. 

President Walker said the hospital was providing counseling and other services (Psychological First Aid) for the hospital staff who was very upset over the event.   “All our staff will get as much time off as they need, and as much support as they require,” she said, ““We really want to make sure that they’re OK.”

Lessons Learned

1.   Staff members who are not used to violent incidents may be shaken up by
shooter events.  New requirements for hospitals emphasize the importance of having support  available immediately after an event to counsel employees.

2.   Support for hospital staff who witness violence are prime candidates for a program  that FEMA has called “Psychological First Aid.

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How Mental Health Problems Directly Affect Hospital Security

Reprinted with permission from



Healthcare’s failure to address link between mental illness and violence putting lives in jeopardy. Pennsylvania hospital shooting highlights ineffectiveness of the industry in treating high-risk patients

Richard Plotts, the man who allegedly murdered a 53-year old caseworker at a suburban Philadelphia hospital last week by shooting her in the face, was formally charged with murder on Saturday following surgery to remove bullets in his torso.

According to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan, police in Upper Darby, Pa., where Plotts lived, were aware of at least three mental health commitments, including once after he cut his wrists and once when he threatened suicide — but said such stays can last just one to three days. Whelan also noted in his press conference that Plotts had also spent time in a mental health facility.

Every week brings a new story in the media about murder-suicides, patients killing healthcare workers, random shootings and assaults.   We can read the new polls like the article on U.S. shootings in healthcare, as well as the recent healthcare crime study by the International Association of Healthcare Security and Safety IAHSS) that routinely reports that violence in healthcare is soaring.

Not only in healthcare, but throughout the U.S., these random active shooter trends are increasing.  To see how much of this violence is related to severe mental health problems, we only have to look as far as these high profile incidents:

  • June 14, 2012 – Buffalo, N.Y., trauma surgeon shooting
  • July 20, 2012 – Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting
  • Sept. 16, 2013 – Washington Navy Yard shooting
  • Dec. 17, 2013 – Reno, Nev. urology clinic shooting
  • Jan. 22, 2014 – LAX active shooter incident
  • April 2, 2014 – Fort Hood (2nd) active shooter incident

None of these incidents were related to poor performance review, losing a job, and only one of these could be called “domestic violence,” but what they all have in common is that the perpetrators were all severely mentally ill.

Guns scare me.  Guns kill people by accident and on purpose. I never let my children play with guns.  However, as I analyze the elements of these shootings and dozens more, my bias is changing.  I think it’s less about guns and more about mental illness.

Healthcare and hospitals would be the one industry where you would think that people would be concerned about the state of mental health of their patients and staff. Instead, it seems like mental health problems are walled off by society, treated ineffectively, and violent tendencies (which sometimes make their way onto patients’ Facebook pages) are largely ignored and unreported by the clinicians treating them.

So it’s left to the security and law enforcement community to deal with these individuals who are paranoid, depressed, angry, frustrated, disappointed, hurt, confused, and, ultimately, violent.

Now that mental health has been re-classified as another medical problem, the money is flowing to the treatment centers and it’s covered by Medicare. But progress doesn’t seem to be either easy or effective.

Dr. Graham C.L. Davey, Ph.D. writing in Psychology Today in January said: “Many of those health professionals (GPs and family physicians) at the first point of contact with people suffering mental health problems are poorly trained to identify psychological problems in their patients, and have little time available to devote to dealing with these types of problems. This increasingly makes medication prescription an attractive option for doctors whose time-per-patient is limited—an outcome which will have all the potential negative effects of medicalizing the problem into a “disease.”

And that’s exactly what we see, patients who don’t take their meds because of the negative side effects and so they become isolated and increasingly violent.  The side effects are clearly pointed out in TV commercials, that you’ve probably watched.

For example, one medicine has side effects that include sexual side effects, convulsions, brain shrinkage, stroke, death, suicide, violent thoughts, psychosis and delusional thinking.

The increase in hospitals adding seclusion rooms, expanding the number of beds for psych patients, and the time spent by both law enforcement and security professionals  in dealing with these troubled individuals, may account for one-quarter to one-third of an organization’s security budget.

Many of the security risk assessments we do are focused on handling mobile mental patients, including the baby boomers suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

As violent incidents continue to increases in our society, our workplaces, and in our hospitals, we need to spend more time looking for, and demanding treatments that work and that are sustainable by the patients so they can lead happier lives and we can protect the rest of society, and our healthcare facilities, from their potentially violent behavior.

Author: Caroline Ramsey Hamilton

Since 1988, Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton has been a Thought Leader in All Aspects of Active Shooter and Security Risk Assessment in both Public and Private companies and organizations. Specializing in Hospital and Healthcare Security. Hamilton is Certified in Homeland Security (CHS-III), Anti-Terrorism (ATAB) and Security Risk Assessment. As President of Risk & Security ( she works with many hospital clients, and develops affordable risk-based apps for improving security risk assessments, and publishes the RISKAlert security awareness program. She lives in south Florida with one beagle, a rescued kitty and (on weekends), 4-year old twins.

Guns Are Not for Shopping – The Columbia Mall Shooting!

A cold Maryland winter morning prrompted many to go shopping at the Columbia Mall.   Columbia, Maryland is a large mall, situated between Washington DC and Baltimore in the Maryland suburbs. I was there last month…

Unfortunately, at 11:15 in the morning, a young man entered the mall and started shooting. Some witnesses said he was shooting down into the Food Court from the 2nd Level.  The shots were centered in a surf, skateboard and snowboarder store called Zumiez, which is
now permanently closed.

Two young people were killed, store employees, Brianna Benlolo, 21, of College
Park, MD; and Tyler Johnson 25, of Ellicott City, MD, and a man police identified
as the shooter.  He had killed himself, but was wearing more ammo and had more
ammo around him.


A bystander was shot in the foot, and others were injured in the chaos that started
when the 8-10 shots were fired and someone yelled, “There’s a man shooting”.
But these injuries were judged to be minor.

Seven families devastated and looking for answers. Even 2 days after the incident, police are no closer to discovering the “WHY”.

Again, we look at access control, and due to the NRA effect, making it ridiculously
easy to carry a gun, even a concealed gun almost anywhere, we have to start by
thinking about what kind of access we should allow to public places, like schools, malls and airports.

In a risk and reward calculation, it’s basically, does the right of an individual
to take a loaded gun anywhere they want, supersede my right to safely shop at
the local mall on a Saturday morning?  I think it does.

RiskAlert Incident Report #473 – Hospital Admin Shot at Home

RiskAlert  INCIDENT REPORT 473 – ACTIVE SHOOTER 12-27-2013

Oschner Hospital Administrator Shot to Death in his Home by former Nurse in
Active Shooter Spree

December 27, 2013   

A Louisiana man attacked his former in-laws, his current wife, and the Administrator of a hospital where he’d worked, killing three and wounding three others before killing himself, authorities said.

The shooter, Ben Freeman, 38, was found late Thursday night in his car along a highway, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Houma,LA Shooter

The shootings happened at four locations in two parishes about 45 miles southwest of New Orleans on Thursday. The first report came about 6:40 p.m., when Lafourche Parish Councilman Louis Phillip Gouaux, who was shot in the throat, called 911 from his home in Lockport, Houma, La.

The suspect, Ben Freeman, 38, was the ex-husband of Gouaux’s daughter Jeanne, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Brennan Matherne said in a news release.

Gouaux’s wife, Susan “Pixie” Gouaux, was dead when deputies arrived.  Louis Phillip
Gouaux and his daughter, Andrea Gouaux, were injured and taken to Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans. Both were in critical but stable condition, Matherne said.

About 20 minutes later in Raceland, Ochsner St. Anne General Hospital Administrator Milton Bourgeois was shot and killed at close range at his home.  His wife, Ann
Bourgeois, was shot in the leg, and taken to the New Orleans hospital, where she was listed in stable condition.  Raceland police said Bourgeois was shot at close range
and his wife was shot in the leg.

Freeman had been employed at three area hospitals over the last few years, including Oschner St. Anne Hospital, where Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre said he had been a registered nurse before he was fired in 2011. All three hospitals were put on lockdown for a while Thursday.

Freeman’s wife, Denise Taylor Freeman, was found dead in the couple’s home in Houma in Terrebonne Parish. Matherne said her cause of death was not immediately known.

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