Florida Hospital Pharmacy Manager Killed in Shooting

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Marking the 128th homicide in Jacksonville this year, a 37-year-old pharmacist was killed Nov. 20 when a frustrated client opened fire in the Shands-Jacksonville Medical Center pharmacy.

Brenda Coney, 46, shot pharmacy manager Shannon McCants three times, including once in the head. Witnesses state that Coney shot McCants twice, then briefly exited the building only to return to shoot her again.

Officials have not revealed what provoked the shooting. However, witnesses say that a confrontation ensued when McCants refused to allow Coney, who was in line to have a prescription refilled, to cut to the front. After a brief argument, Coney drew her weapon and fired.

Police officers arrested Coney, who still had her firearm with her, at her vehicle. After freely admitting to the shooting, she was booked into the county jail on a charge of murder.

Lesli Ward, Shands’ vice president of human resources, said the facility would be reviewing its security procedures, but that close contact with patients is part of hospital staff’s responsibilities. Ward has not made any comments regarding possible footage of the incident captured by surveillance cameras.

Although the hospital benefits from the around-the-clock presence of Jacksonville sheriffs and employs approximately another 100 unarmed security guards, these security personnel largely patrol the emergency room area and not the pharmacy.

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