Patient Who Killed Deputy Never Evaluated by Psychiatrist

Patient Danny Hammond fatally shot Aitkin County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Sandberg on Oct. 18.

The suicidal patient who killed a sheriff’s deputy at a Minnesota hospital on Oct. 18 had not been recently evaluated by a psychiatrist, according to a federal report.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services report faulted St. Cloud Hospital’s security procedures and prompted the hospital to submit a correction plan to update its security policies and training. The hospital was also put in “condition-level noncompliance” status as a Medicare participant, according to

Danny Hammond, 50, was sent to the hospital after attempting to commit suicide on Oct. 12. Hammond came out of a coma three days later and was reportedly actively suicidal, saying he would kill anyone who came into his hospital room. The hospital was being assisted by the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office, which monitored Hammond.

On Oct. 18 Hammond was able to wrestle a gun away from Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Sandberg, 60, and fatally shoot the deputy. Hospital security officers then used a stun gun to subdue Hammond and he later died.

RELATED: Officer Fatally Shot While Monitoring Patient

Among the problems the report found in St. Cloud Hospital procedures was the hospital’s failure to provide any psychiatric services to Hammond after Oct. 16 despite his persistent threats. Hammond was also placed on a 72-hour hold by an assistant physician rather than an actual physician.

In response to the report the hospital will increase training for staff and change some key security policies. Psychiatric treatment must now continue when a patient is in a hold and both the physician and psychiatric provider must agree that the treatment is no longer necessary for it to stop.

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