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Police: Hospital gunman had enough ammo for massacre

The psychiatric patient who allegedly shot a hospital caseworker in a Philadelphia suburb had been angry in the past about not being allowed to carry a gun, a prosecutor said.
By Frances Burns   |   July 25, 2014 at 5:42 PM
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DARBY, Pa., July 25 (UPI) -- The man who allegedly shot a caseworker at a Philadelphia-area hospital had enough ammunition for a massacre, investigators said Friday.

The suspect, Richard Plotts, 49, remained in critical but stable condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said Plotts will be charged in the next few days with murder and other crimes.

Plotts was in a meeting with caseworker Theresa Hunt and Dr. Lee Silverman, a psychiatrist, at Mercy-Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby when he opened fire Thursday afternoon, police said. He allegedly shot Hunt in the face, killing her, and fired a bullet that grazed Silverman before the doctor opened fire with his own gun.

Whelan said Plotts had 39 bullets in addition to those in his loaded revolver.

"If Dr. Silverman did not have the firearm, and did not utilize the firearm, he'd be dead today," Whelan said at a news conference. "And other people would be dead today."

Other employees in the psychiatric unit in an office building across the street from the main hospital building heard a loud argument. They called police after someone looked in and saw Plotts with a gun.

After the shooting, some of the employees tackled Plotts and disarmed him before police arrived.

Whelan said Plotts had been angry about not being allowed to bring a gun to the hospital in the past. He had a long criminal record, mostly for drug and weapons offenses, and was barred as a convicted felon from owning a weapon.

Silverman's gun was licensed.

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