Virginia Hospital Bolsters Security Following Shooting
A patient who checked in for a mental health evaluation at Chippenham Hospital opened fire, striking another patient and a police officer.
RICHMOND, Va. – In response to the December 22 shooting at Chippenham Hospital, the facility will now have mobile security patrols in parking lots and metal detector wands at entrances.
Three days before Christmas, a Chesterfield police officer and a hospital patient were shot by Rasheed Pope, 27. The suspect had checked himself into the emergency department for a mental health evaluation, reports WDBJ. Authorities say that during the intake process, Pope brandished a gun and fired several shots.
“He was entering a room where he was disrobing and getting into a gown and then, without warning, started firing his weapon,” Richmond Police Chief Rick Edwards told WTVR.
Another Chippenham Hospital patient who was in the hallway, as well as a police officer who was at the hospital for an unrelated case, were struck by the gunfire. A bullet hit the officer’s boot, so he was not injured. The injuries to the patient were not life threatening.
The officer who was struck fired his weapon, but Pope was not injured during the incident. The suspect now faces attempted murder charges and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Chippenham Hospital has improved security in response to the shooting. In addition to mobile patrols of the parking areas and metal detectors at entrances, security officers will be on site 24/7, reports WRIC. The hospital is also investigating other ways it can improve security.
A former nurse told WRIC that she voiced her concerns about security at Chippenham Hospital before the shooting, especially about access control and the need for more video surveillance, but didn’t see any immediate changes.
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