Patient with gun shot dead in ED

It’s a CNN Video report so there’s nothing written I can abstract, but it’s from a Seattle, WA affiliate.

Short version: disturbed individual breaks into someones’ house, steals three pistols.  Taken to local ED for ‘bump on head’ or somesuch.

Becomes unruly in ED, Police come and relieve him of two pistols in ED, but inexplicably let him stay (and apparently missed another weapon).  I wonder what happened at this point, because I’m given to understand it’s illegal to take a firearm into a hospital anywhere in the US.  PD leaves.

Unruly person becomes unruly again, Police come back, and in a struggle for the third pistol, unruly is shot to death by PD.

(The show starts with shots of Police removing several rifles out of the house of the burglary victim, and it’s not clear why the burglary victims’ rifles are being confiscated).


I cannot imagine the chaos in that ED, and hope none of them were injured.


  1. lprgcfrank says:

    you are inaccurate as to the law regarding firearms in hospitals. The laws vary by state. Here in PA – legal to carry in a hospital. is an excellent reference source for state specific firearm restrictions.
    It’s leaga to carry into a hospital in WA with the following exception.

    here is specific section from WA statute.
    RCW 9.41.300

    (c) The restricted access areas of a public mental health facility certified by the department of social and
    health services for inpatient hospital care and state institutions for the care of the mentally ill, excluding
    those facilities solely for evaluation and treatment. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of
    egress and ingress open to the general public;

  2. I stand corrected on the legality of carrying into hospitals.

  3. Randall Sexton says:

    Police failed here to fully search the guy.

  4. about the shooting in Olympia, Wa. This isn’t a big city hospital but this type of thing could happen anywhere. Fortunately the patient was the only causality. (two hours up the road) has a reminder posted too.

  5. Glen in Texas says:

    To me this is an excellent example of when a Taser would be useful.

    It is to no ones benefit for staff to fight with a patient.

    When force is neeed, a Taser is best choice. It is quik, and low risk to staff.

    Sometimes deadly force is needed, but in a hospital setting, other options need to be at hand.

  6. I’m for tasers in the ED (in the hands of a trained LEO, who also has escalation beyond that), but bringing a taser to a gunfight sounds like a losing proposition.

  7. Now that calls for a couple of baton rounds.

  8. Mule Breath says:

    There appears to be many mistakes made in this tale. What is the deal with the dude himself? Psych patient or what? Known perp? New presentation?

    Why were firearms removed from the owner’s residence for “safekeeping”? Were they illegal arms? Was the owner not a legal owner?

    If officers found two handguns on the dude in the ED, but not the 3rd, what is the deal with that? If I were their chief I’d have them on the carpet.

    Goodness! This is a story needing a whole lot of investigation.

  9. TheNewGuy says:

    Hmmm. Gotta be more to this story.

    And I agree with the Taser-in-the-ER proposal; every department should have one.

  10. I didn’t watch the video, but I am wondering if the patient got to the ED via police or ambulance. Either way, someone failed to pat him down before he was transported. He’d have never made it into my rig without being searched (however, I know medics who would overlook this detail.)

  11. Why did the PD confiscated the victims long arms? I don’t know what they’ll write up, but the answer is, because they were in Seattle. I say this as a blue-state native and gun owner.

  12. OK, I am late to the party, but… GruntDoc, I’m surprised to learn you don’t know that concealed handgun carry with a license is legal in Texas as well. A private hospital can post 30.06 signs to legally prevent it, and hospitals that are part of university systems/campuses are arguably off limits under the law, but otherwise, no.

    Of course, the law does nothing to prevent criminals from bringing a gun in…

  13. I knew that, actually. My assumption that concealed carry in hospitals was illegal was from my Texas experience (Texas hospitals don’t have to post 30.06 signs technically, as hospitals are expressly forbidden zones in the law).

    And of course, you’re right. I’ve been a little surprised I’ve only taken a couple of knives off patients since returning in 2001. Kudos to EMS for doing good pat downs.