RISKAlert Case Study #841 – Physician Shot & Killed in Metairie

Dateline:  March 25, 2016 – New Orleans, Louisiana

A local Doctor was shot and killed by a patient while he treated others in his office near East Jefferson General Hospital in New Orleans yesterday.

The 73-year old shooter walked into the doctor’s office, and killed the doctor with a single shot to the head.  He then ran out of the office and into a Wendy’s restaurant.  Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies were nearby and they responded and chased the shooter into a nearby Wendy’s restaurant, where the shooter killed himself by putting the gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger.

The doctor, 75-year old Dr. Elbert Goodier, a urologist,  was treating patients at the time of the shooting.  Colleagues said that Dr. Goodier was a very kind and popular physician.  The shooter’s family said that the shooter had been treated by Dr. Goodier in the past.  While the shooter did not have a criminal background, his family said that he had suffered from mental illness in the past.

Dr. Goodier had practiced for 50 years in the New Orleans area, according to East Jefferson General Hospital.

According to Wendy’s employees, a woman was placing her order when the shooter pulled the trigger as the deputies advanced on him.   The man’s body remained inside of Wendy’s more than an hour after the shootings. Yellow police tape cordoned off the parking lot and the hospital’s exit lanes. Some workers and patrons were also still in the building as of 4 p.m., speaking with investigators. Outside, other workers, concerned relatives and onlookers watched.

WendysShooter-NOLA

This type of shooting, the Baby Boomer Shooter, is the second attack on a urologist, and one in an increasing number of seniors who attack their physicians.  Another shooter killed his urologist in Reno, Nevada and injured two others before taking his own life. The shooter said had struggled for 3 years with ailments resulting from a botched vasectomy, according to messages he posted on an online support group and a law enforcement investigation.

Lesson Learned :

While doctors have not been a target in the past, they have been shot and killed recently by patients unhappy with medical results.  All hospitals and medical offices should review their access controls systems, based on the increasing, and alarming rate of attacks on healthcare workers.

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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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