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Old October 2, 2010, 10:40 PM   #1
FrankenMauser
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"Armed Gunman" in Hospital

Today you're visiting some one that suffered a brain injury; at a hospital in the foothills of a mountain range, near the mouth of a dry canyon, overlooking much of the metropolitan area you live in. It's a typical day in the hospital, until you hear the public address system:
"Code Grey. Code Grey. Code Grey."
"Armed gunman outside perimeter. Armed gunman in parking garage."


You think, sarcastically, "that's useful... there are three parking garages...", as the voice continues:
"Lock down perimeter. Lock down perimeter. Lock down perimeter."

As the security officer assigned to the unit* you're visiting goes running to a parking garage door just down the hall, and nurses scramble to close all drapes and blinds, the PA announces: *(standard practice for many neural units)
"Possible armed gunman inside perimeter."
"Full lock down. Full lock down. Full lock down."


The guard locks the exterior door, and returns to the unit, locking everyone inside. As he's initiating local security procedures, you realize you've still got your concealed handgun. You thought about it on the way to the hospital, and meant to leave it in the car, but forgot.

As you're sitting there, contemplating the situation you're in, you hear the guard's radio:
"Suspect last seen in Green section, level 3, of garage 2, moving toward hospital entrance. Male. Average build. Camouflage clothing. Black binoculars. Carrying rifle and small black bag."

That's the same section you parked in, the same door you came in, and the same door the guard just locked. If the "armed gunman" did make it inside the hospital, he is likely hiding in a utility closet or office between the unit you're in, and the 3rd level entrance (essentially the main floor, on that side of the building). The door to the hallway is full-pane wire-reinforced safety glass, in a metal frame; that's it.

The guard has a beating device, a radio, and a taser.

You, by mistake, are actually armed. You're actually armed illegally, but in a position to do something.

What do you do?



--There will be more information and some hints to the actual outcome of the real scenario added here, as some replies are posted.
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Old October 2, 2010, 11:09 PM   #2
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stay with the guard, say nothing about being armed.
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Old October 3, 2010, 12:37 AM   #3
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Shoot the idiot on the P.A. system?
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Old October 3, 2010, 01:12 AM   #4
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Think about it.

Think about it. YOU may be the armed gunman.

A metal detector may have detected your gun when you entered the hospital.

If I were, for instance, an off-duty policeman or some such, I might offer my help to one of the security guards (a supervisor if possible) and DEFINITELY let the authorities know I am armed as soon as it was safe to do so.

You lost your head at one point. Start using it immediately.

If I an ordinary civilian, I would definitely keep my hands in sight at all times.

After that, assess the situation as it develops and try to mitigate the damage. Locking down a hospital is no small matter. If I caused it, I would try to shorten the length of time it is in effect.

Choices that immediately come to mind are:

Let some hospital staff know I am armed (maybe not the security folk, who are busy right now and probably not open to distractions, but more probably a medical staffer, preferably a seasoned supervisor unlikely to overreact). There are many variation on this choice which are all of the "Turn Myself In" solution.

Depart the building (which I presume has been ruled out by the OP). Call this the "Run Away" solution.

Set myself down in the room of the person I was intending to visit and say nothing to anyone. Call this the "Denial" solution, the "Hope it Goes Away" variation.

I am sure I left some good thoughts out. I tried to think as fast as I would have had to if actually in that situation.

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Old October 3, 2010, 01:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
The guard has a beating device, a radio, and a taser.

You, by mistake, are actually armed. You're actually armed illegally, but in a position to do something.

What do you do?
Well, I'd probably recall Ayoobs' admonition that you have a right to defend yourself if you're where you have a right to be, doing what you have a right to be doing (which isn't being armed). Then I'd probably say "oh crap", here comes a guard doing what they pay him to do".

Then I'd fall back on my acting experience (I played an angel in third grade) with "hey, jeez man, I'm glad you're here. There's a killer lose here somewhere, I'm gonna hang with you till you catch him, if you don't mind".

I figure if he's intellectually challenged enough to go looking for a man with a gun while armed with "a thumping device and taser", he might fall for it.

I think I'd have picture ID in hand, tell him what I was there for, and hope I didn't match the gunman's description.

Last edited by Nnobby45; October 3, 2010 at 04:21 AM.
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Old October 3, 2010, 02:45 AM   #6
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LOSTSHEEP,

I liked your post, but leaving is definately not an option if hospital has been locked down. coming clean is important like you said- if something does happen and your gun is pulled who knows what could happen if it hasn't been known you were armed. I learn something everyday because I thought many hospitals were legal to CCW. Is this a federal law or a state-to-state thing?
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Old October 3, 2010, 03:23 AM   #7
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say nothing, do nothing unless/until you and yours are threatened.

the hospital has provided security, and denied you the right to defend others/self.

i would not risk criminal/civil suit on behalf of the same hospital.
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Old October 3, 2010, 04:57 AM   #8
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I hate to say it, but I would probably take the "denial/hope it goes away route".
Stay in the room with the friend/loved one I came to visit and protect them and myself as a priority.
Reevaluate my decision if a threat comes into my immediate vicinity (i.e. our corridor)
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Old October 3, 2010, 08:12 AM   #9
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Where I work a "person with a weapon" is a code silver but no one would announce "Code Silver, man with a gun blah blah blah". That's just ridiculous, the whole point of the code system is to keep things low key so everybody doesn't freak out. You don't create your own problems by causing a stampede before anything else happens.

That being said, I work in a very small, rural hospital that doesn't have any security or metal detectors and a "no weapons" policy for employees but no concealed carry restrictions for others. In spite of all that, my situation is a bit different because in addition to being a respiratory therapist I'm a LEO and I carry all the time, including when working at the hospital (yes, with the administration's blessing), and I keep a long gun in my vehicle.

Given the situation layed out in the original post, I would agree with BfloBill and Troy McLure - stay put, stay down, wait it out. Don't act unless absolutely necessary.

Given my personal situation, I'd be on the phone with the Regional Communications Center and try to relay them as much info as possible so that responding officers would have a good idea what they'd find on arrival. If possible I'd get to my vehicle and break out the rifle, I'd try to keep sight of the bad guy(s) and would engage only if absolutely necessary (they're not expecting armed resistance and I want to exploit that). I don't want them entering or firing on the hospital and that would be my criteria for engagement. If they try to get in or they start shooting I'm not going to stand by and do nothing.

Also, I'd be hoping that since we don't restrict concealed carry there'd be an armed citizen in the hospital willing to help, in spite of what I said about staying put and staying down.
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Old October 3, 2010, 08:42 AM   #10
therealdeal
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WC145,

I agree with your reasons for engagement fully. Also guys, stay put but be ready!

WC145, if you know, are all hospitals different on the CCW thing or is it a statewide thing usually. hospitals seem very confusing with CCW. I thought they were 'legal'
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Old October 3, 2010, 08:57 AM   #11
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Not in Michigan .
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Old October 3, 2010, 08:58 AM   #12
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cmichael, if this guy shoots a nurse on that floor? MI is rough but WC145 needs help
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Old October 3, 2010, 09:01 AM   #13
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I sit tight. There are two people there I need to protect: Myself and the friend or relative I came to visit. Setting off to face a rifleman with my 1911 won't accomplish that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealdeal
...are all hospitals different on the CCW thing or is it a statewide thing usually. hospitals seem very confusing with CCW. I thought they were 'legal'
That will vary from state to state.

Also, even in states where hospitals are not "No CCW zones" by statute, some may be posted off-limits by policy. Check your state laws and the particular hospital.
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Old October 3, 2010, 09:06 AM   #14
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thanx tamara
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Old October 3, 2010, 09:46 AM   #15
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In Maine concealed carry in hospitals is limited by policy, not statute. I think the only exceptions might be Veteran's hospitals/facilities because they're federal.

As an aside, when I spoke to HR about carrying in spite of hospital policy because I'm a LEO the question of posting the hosptial as a "no Concealed Weapons area" came up. They asked my opinion and I told them that I didn't think there would be any benefit to it, that the only people it would affect are the law abiding, and I explained the process for getting a CC license here. After some discussion the HR director (who is very liberal) agreed with me and took that argument to the CEO and the rest of the administration and the decision was made to NOT post the hospital and that's how it remains. No benefit to the employees but at least we're not infringing on the rights of those legally carrying.
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Old October 3, 2010, 09:50 AM   #16
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'Bout ready to wrap this one up, too. Let's give it another few hours, then call it quits. I'm still waiting to hear the OP's explanation of how this scenario intersects with reality.

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Old October 3, 2010, 10:04 AM   #17
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This is a good thread. Way better than a certain other scenario thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep
You lost your head at one point. Start using it immediately.
I like this.

I agree with the "stay put" crowd, but in more of a "hole up" manner. If the guy is walking around shooting people, engaging him a hallway is dumb, but waiting until he comes into your room where he isn't expecting any resistance (and doesn't even know where you are in the room), you have the drop on him. Close the door, TAKE THE CHARTS OFF THE WALL OUTSIDE (those large folders and stuff on the wall outside are evidence the room is occupied. A closed door and nothing in those bins may lead a shooter to believe the room is unoccupied). If there is an x-ray unit near by, go there if you can. Those doors and walls are lead-lined and lock from the inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therealdeal
cmichael, if this guy shoots a nurse on that floor? MI is rough but WC145 needs help
No. In MI (and I assume the state OP is referring to), in this situation, if you respond with force, you will be charged with murder. You have no legal right to be where you are (because you are armed) and thus any actions you take will not be treated as a justifiable homicide. This is the real world, where actions have consequences and heroes don't exist. The only reason to open yourself up to the criminal and civil liabilities of this is if your life is directly threatened. Unless you want to be a test case. There is absolutely no reason to leave your fortified area to save the damsels in distress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
'Bout ready to wrap this one up, too. Let's give it another few hours, then call it quits. I'm still waiting to hear the OP's explanation of how this scenario intersects with reality.
Third one today OP Said this was a real scenario, and that's what has me so interested in it.
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Last edited by Sefner; October 3, 2010 at 10:07 AM. Reason: updated pax's closed thread count
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Old October 3, 2010, 03:10 PM   #18
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Tamara said it right as far as I'm concerned:

Quote:
I sit tight. There are two people there I need to protect: Myself and the friend or relative I came to visit. Setting off to face a rifleman with my 1911 won't accomplish that.
Just ain't no sense getting shot for nothing, . . . facing a rifleman with a 1911 will probably bring on that result.

May God bless,
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Old October 3, 2010, 06:04 PM   #19
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Put an empty bed on my head and hunker down - as Pax, let's get the real incident details if there was one - so we can cut the fantasy.
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Old October 3, 2010, 07:06 PM   #20
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Never did hear of a "Unarmed Gunman". Sort of like putting ketchup on a burger with a slice of tomato on it, backwardly redundant?
Carrying here in FLA in a hospital is a no-no.
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Old October 3, 2010, 07:12 PM   #21
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Armed or unarmed I can think of few other places that would be better for "forting up" than the average hospital. There is so much stuff that would work for improvised weapons in a hospital that it's not even funny.

Armed or unarmed I'd fort up with mine and wait for the situation to resolve in a "gunman" situation.

Now if we're talking possible explosives... I'm finding a way out PERIOD!
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Old October 3, 2010, 07:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Where I work a "person with a weapon" is a code silver but no one would announce "Code Silver, man with a gun blah blah blah". That's just ridiculous, the whole point of the code system is to keep things low key so everybody doesn't freak out. You don't create your own problems by causing a stampede before anything else happens.
Not all hospitals use the same code systems. This particular incident was at a hospital that uses a color (real color, not a shade of grey).

And, contrary to security protocol, they did announce the actual threat over the PA. However, it may have only been audible in certain parts of the hospital (main hallways and lobbies may have only heard the code).

Sorry about the delay in responding. I had an actual emergency arise in the family last night, and just returned from a different hospital.
I was hoping to clarify certain points as posters responded, but didn't have the time, with yesterday's emergency. So, I'll just give you the details.

The skinny:
On Wednesday, a man in camouflage clothing was seen walking in a field near a major road, about 1/2 mile from the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. He had binoculars, a rifle, and a black bag.

When word got out, and people started seeing ghosts, there was a report of the man being seen in one of the hospital's parking garages (it's a huge medical complex that actually has 3 hospitals connected to each other).

Review of security footage showed that the "suspect" was never there. In fact, he had not been seen by any cameras or persons, after getting to the foothills of the mountains.

My wife works at the hospital, and was visiting an ICU after she was done for the day. That's when the first and second lock down occurred. The unit was under staffed for the day, so my wife volunteered to handle the phones and security calls that would have to be made, so the rest of the staff could attend to their patients. (She knew she was stuck there, and tried to make the best of it.)

During the lock down, a patient's visitor approached the guard assigned to the unit, and explained that he preferred not getting involved in anything, but had forgotten to remove his concealed weapon. He admitted the mistake and asked the guard what he should do. The guard allowed him to return to his seat, next to the patient (he had been there for a while and had no rifle or camouflage - and was obviously not the "armed gunman").

The buildings and surrounding area was swept, and the security condition cleared. Nothing else came of the incident.

To add insult to injury, after the missteps with security protocol...
It was pointed out to the hospital, that the University campus is one of the best places to park, for hunters entering the mountains above. And... the General Season Muzzle Loader Deer season had started that morning.

Even if the choice of parking places, and hiking paths was not prudent; the hunter did nothing illegal. Even if it wasn't a hunter, the person still wasn't illegal.


I'm still not sure what my actions would have been. I probably would have taken the "Denial" path - sit there, and pretend my weapon doesn't exist (it is concealed, after all). But it's a tough choice to make. Had the situation been real, you never know what would have happened.
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Old October 3, 2010, 07:29 PM   #23
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The metal detector detected your gun when you entered the hospital.

As the PA system screams “Lock Down!” run for a door before it’s locks and get out. The metal detector will again detect your gun.

That evening watch the 6 O’clock News Report, “Earlier today two armed gunmen entered the hospital and disappeared somewhere within the building. Police are searching and have called in dogs, the neighboring county sheriff, the SWAT Team, and have asked the governor to send the National Guard. Our reporter on the scene is Kristy Kringle. Good evening, Kristy, can you tell us what’s happening.”

“Hello, Don. Yes, earlier today two armed gunmen entered the hospital and disappeared somewhere within the building. Police are searching and have called in dogs, the neighboring county sheriff, the SWAT Team, and have asked the governor to send the National Guard. Back to you, Don.”

“Thanks, Kristy, for that up to date report. More at Eleven.”
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Old October 3, 2010, 07:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayInTx
That evening watch the 6 O’clock News Report, “Earlier today two armed gunmen entered the hospital and disappeared somewhere within the building. Police are searching and have called in dogs, the neighboring county sheriff, the SWAT Team, and have asked the governor to send the National Guard. Our reporter on the scene is Kristy Kringle. Good evening, Kristy, can you tell us what’s happening.”

“Hello, Don. Yes, earlier today two armed gunmen entered the hospital and disappeared somewhere within the building. Police are searching and have called in dogs, the neighboring county sheriff, the SWAT Team, and have asked the governor to send the National Guard. Back to you, Don.”
Hahahahahaha!

Anyways, I don't think a metal detector alone could trigger a lock down... Being a hospital, if someone walks in with a prosthetic leg? Or a LEO through that entrance? It would take more than that.

Frank, did anything happen to the carrier? If not, kudos to the hospital. I wonder if the guard didn't say anything cuz he thought he might be safer with an extra gun there. That is speculation, but you never know.

That aside, this caused a lockdown?

Quote:
On Wednesday, a man in camouflage clothing was seen walking in a field near a major road, about 1/2 mile from the University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Half mile? I'm sure anywhere in SLC in a half mile radius there are tons of guns. What was the guy gonna do, take pot shots from 900 yards? What about the other buildings in the area? Did the college get locked down too?
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Old October 3, 2010, 07:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Not all hospitals use the same code systems. This particular incident was at a hospital that uses a color (real color, not a shade of grey).
No kidding, that's why I pointed out that we use something different at the hospital I work in.

The situation you've described is a bunch of people overreacting and, in turn, causing a bunch of other people to overreact, which, IMO, validates the "get down, stay put" plan.
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