Armed Patient with Dementia Arrested at Florida Hospital
The armed patient has no criminal record and was not threatening other patients or staff.
A Florida hospital was locked down for several hours Friday morning after an elderly patient was reportedly waving a gun in the air.
Orange County sheriff’s spokesman Jeff Williamson says deputies received a call at around 2:03 a.m. on Friday about a gunman inside Florida Hospital East in Orlando.
A witness told News6 that a message was played over the hospital’s public address system announcing that there was a shooter in the building.
When police arrived about five minutes after receiving the call, they discovered an elderly patient, who reportedly suffers from dementia, walking down a hallway with a gun and making threats to himself.
Deputies say he did not threaten to harm anybody else and did not point the gun at anyone. He surrendered without incident and was taken into custody. Police also found a knife on his person.
A room-by-room search was subsequently conducted and determined that the hospital was safe and the lockdown was lifted.
Florida Hospital East officials issued a statement following the incident, applauding both staff and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for their quick responses, which helped to prevent any injuries.
“As of Friday morning, the patient has been moved to a different room, is guarded by security personnel and is being further evaluated by medical staff. Due to federal privacy laws, we cannot comment on the patient’s medical status,” the statement continued. “Rest assured, the safety of our patients, visitors and employees is utmost importance. We have many measures in place — visible and nonvisible — to ensure the well-being of all who visit our hospitals.”
An investigation is being conducted into how the patient was able to get a gun and a knife inside the hospital.
The man has no criminal history and detectives are determining whether or not he will face charges. It is unclear how long he has been a patient at the hospital.
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