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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RISKAlert #850 – Live Python Falls from Hospital Ceiling

RISK Alert Live Python Falls from Tacoma Hospital Ceiling

    AKA: The Case for Screening Patient and Visitor Bags

The staff at Tacoma General Hospital in Washington State had a shock recently when a live white ball python fell from the ceiling in the hospital. The python had been missing inside the hospital for a month, after the owner (a patient) lost track of it.

A visitor had brought the python into the hospital, hidden in a cat carrier full of stuffed toys to visit its owner, who didn’t notice that the python had escaped several days later.

According to Fox Q13 News, the previously missing python was not poisonous and not large enough to kill a human by constriction.

After the owner went home, he notified the hospital that he lost the snake, but wasn’t sure exactly where he had lost it. Another Tacoma, Washington resident commented,

It’s kind of crazy, actually,” said Chris CummingWhitePythons. “The fact is that I’d be kind of awed as to why they’d bring it in … as a pet owner I have a snake of my own, but I wouldn’t bring it to a hospital.”

Using hand-held metal detectors to screen patient bags, and screening of visitor bags is a key control that not only prevents snakes in the hospital, but also uncovers undesirable elements like knives, guns, and drugs which are brought into patient rooms by friends and relatives.

Nurses interviewed for this article said they are aware of family members bringing marijuana, cocaine, meth, and heroin into hospitals for their loved ones. One nurse said, “The patient is certainly a lot happier after the visits”.

Lessons Learned:

1. Snakes don’t belong in hospitals.

2. Screening patient bags not only finds unwanted pets, but also hard drugs,
weapons, forbidden food, and more.

3. Hospitals should be able to identify every person in the hospital at all
times, and simple bag screening is a valuable preventive method to
make a safer hospital environment for staff and patients.

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Active Shooter kills at least 4, injures 15 at mower plant in Hesston, Kansas tonight

RISK Alert # 828                         BREAKING NEWS!     
 #828,  Dateline:  February 25, 2016

Join us to discuss this incident in a special webinar tomorrow at 11 am EST. No Cost,
and here’s the registration link

Hesston, Kansas Sheriff Reports that 4-7 people have been killed and at least 20-30 people injured at the Excel mower factory in south central Kansas tonight.

Sheriff T. Walton said at a news conference Thursday evening there are “a number of crime scenes involved,” including the Excel Industries plant in Hesston, north of Wichita, which manufactures lawn mower products. The suspect, who Walton said was or had been a painter at Excel Industries, was fatally shot by authorities.

The shooting, currently characterized as a workplace violence incident, happened about 8:30 pm CST in the Excel Industries parking lot, and spread to two other locations.  Similar to Chattanooga’s shooting, the shooter drove to different locations, shooting from his car windows, until he entered the Excel Industries facility.hesston-Kansas-feb25-2016-3

The exact number of victims and casualties were uncertain because the shootings  went on in different locations.

The shooter has been identified as Cedric Ford, and that he shot several people in other locations before heading to Excel Industries parking lot, where he shot another person in the parking lot, and then entered the Excel building, where he shot fifteen other individuals.

The sheriff reported that the shooter used a long gun, something like an assault rifle – he also had a pistol on him.  Sheriff Walton added:

“We always talk about, ‘it can’t happen here, and everybody says, It can’t happen here.’ But it’s all those places that it happens at and here we are. It happened here… “This is a fairly peaceful community  and to have something like this is tragic.”

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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RISK Alert Man Poses as Surgeon to Steal Drugs in Tennessee -Case Study #716

RiskAlert Logo
Dateline:  May 31, 2015

Hamilton County Corrections Officer, Dressed as a Doctor, Walks into Three Chattanooga, Tennessee  Hospitals, Defeats Security at each Hospital,  Breaks Open Drug Cabinets to get Narcotics

Dressed as a surgeon, Ryan Epperson, a 26-year old Corrections Officer at Hamilton County, bypassed security controls at all three downtown Chattanooga hospitals including Parkridge Medical Center, Erlanger and CHI Memorial.  A nurse at one hospital noticed that the medical cabinet had been broken open, and a number of powerful painkillers were missing, including 10 syringes of morphine, six vials of Demerol and five doses of fentanyl.

Footage from a security camera near a radiology lab, gave Chattanooga Police a photo of
Epperson, who was seen walking toward one of the labs.  Epperson was easily recognized because he ran for county office last year!

Epperson had apparently frequently stolen drugs from medication dispensaries, which he smashed, at Erlanger, Parkridge Medical Center and CHI Memorial hospitals, as well as possibly from crash

After being identified by camera footage, Epperson was arrested last Wednesday on multiple drug, vandalism, trespassing and impersonation charges after  an Erlanger security officer noticed him walking through a surgery suite without a name badge a requirement for all physicians and hospital personnel, according to Erlanger management.  Specific charges included six counts of possessing drugs for resale, two counts of vandalism, two counts of theft and one count each of criminal trespassing and impersonating a licensed professional.

“Epperson admitted that he had an addiction problem and was trying to feed that addiction,” his arrest report states. Large quantities of narcotics were found in Epperson’s Ford Fusion and at his home, police reported.

Lessons Learned

1.   Name badges worn visibly above the waist are a valuable control.  Lack of a
legitimate badge led to Epperson’s arrest.

2.   Camera footage should be checked daily, at a minimum, to be able to take
advantage of crime footage that may exist, and which also assisted police.

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Essential Elements of a GREAT Corporate Security Program

Maybe you’re a Security Professional, or maybe you’re just someone who doesn’t want to get your credit card stolen, or get shot walking out to your car at night.   Either way, There are a few basics you need for an effective Corporate Security Program.  Whether it’s a hospital, a big box store, or a local government agency, or one of the Fortune 100, these Basic Corporate Security elements are essential:

1.  Start with a baseline Security Risk Assessment – for both IT Security AND
     corporate or physical security. (You can’t improve if you don’t know where
you are).

2.   Get a plain or fancy Incident Reporting program and start recording and
categorizing ALL security incidents, whether they are related to theft, violence,
natural disasters, Ebola, or active shooters.  This gives you the power to stay
on top of new, emerging threats (the ones identified in the security risk
assessment),  and make  frequent adjustments based on real-time information,
also known as data-driven security.

3.   Review and Update your Policies and Procedures to address what’s
changed in the environment. P’s and P’s also add the power of COMPLIANCE
to the security enforcement.  This increases security’s
visibility and importance to management.

4.    Create Security Awareness among the staff members.  You have two
eyes, but if you add in the employees, you have 1000 eyes or more.  Eyes
that know what to watch for, how to report escalating incidents early, and
staff members who can improve their personal safety through situational

5.     Mandatory annual Security training for all employees.  Staff members
need to get the latest information on reporting, information protection, how to
physically protect themselves, and patients, students, customers, visitors and
everyone else who enters your facilities.  Many information breaches start
with a theft of a laptop, something that could totally be avoided with
better training.


6.      At the end of the first year, do a second (and annual) security risk
assessment so you can measure improvements in awareness, in
         implementation of critical controls (I have a list of 75), and changes
in the threat profile.

These steps create an annual cycle of Continual Improvement in the
security program, based on fresh evaluation, which also turns out to very
cost effective and informs management about which controls have the
‘best bang for the buck’.

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