NCH Patient Who Shot Himself May Have Obtained Gun From a Visitor

When staff found the patient in his room, a gun was on his lap and a bag delivered by a visitor was on the floor next to him.

NCH Patient Who Shot Himself May Have Obtained Gun From a Visitor

The patient took his life at Baker Hospital Downtown in Naples in January.

Authorities at the Naples Police Department say the patient who killed himself at NCH Baker Hospital Downtown in Naples, Fla., may have received the weapon when a visitor delivered him a bag full of other belongings.

Though the investigation of the man’s death was closed on Thursday, the visitor has not yet been charged, said Lt. Matthew Fletcher, a spokesman for the Naples Police Dept.

“There was no evidence, statements or other information that would allow investigators to prove that the visitor or any other person was involved or had knowledge that the bag contained a weapon,” Fletcher said.

Investigators were unable to find anyone who saw the gun inside the bag before the patient, Christian Deutz, used it to kill himself, he added.

Deutz, 76, died in his room on Jan, 17, reports Naples Daily News. Two staff members found Deutz after hearing a loud bang, according to the incident report.

They found him in a chair with a gun on his lap and a small bag next to him on the floor. According to Fletcher, the bag was brought into the hospital the day before by a visitor.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an “alleged workplace hazard” investigation to see if NCH employees were exposed to workplace violence due to patients carrying firearms into the building.

After the investigation, NCH listed a number of safety precautions it planned to enforce after Deutz’s death. None of them, however, involved checking visitors’ bags before they enter the hospital.

“NCH has many appropriate safety measures in place, some of which we don’t discuss publicly for obvious reasons,” said NCH spokeswoman Debbie Curry. “We continue to evaluate our safety and security measures based on industry standards and research.”

Curry added that the hospital has considered policy changes on checking visitor belongings and continues to evaluate them.

Hospital security staff have also completed training on suicide prevention, she said.

In addition, visitors must present a valid photo ID upon arrival of the hospital.

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Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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