Editor’s Note: Imagine if that doctor didn’t have his gun with him. There is no cop or security guard on the hospital’s premises who could have come to the docs rescue fast enough. This doctor saved many lives taking lethal action against this perpetrator.
A Pennsylvania doctor is being hailed a hero today after he seriously injured a patient who went on a shooting spree in his office.
Dr. Lee Silverman, a psychiatrist, told police that the patient, identified as Richard Plotts, fatally shot a caseworker at their hospital complex before the doctor pulled out his own gun and exchanged fire with him and wounded him, a prosecutor said Thursday night.
Silverman was grazed in the temple during the gunfight in his office, according to Delaware District Attorney Jack Whelan.
Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux said that ‘without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives.’
‘Without that firearm, this guy (the patient) could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition,’ the chief said.
Whelan identified the caseworker killed Thursday afternoon at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital as Theresa Hunt, 53.
Hunt, who was from Philadelphia, had accompanied Plotts to an appointment with Silverman at a psychiatric crisis center adjacent to the hospital in Darby, just southwest of Philadelphia, authorities said.
‘When the caseworker was shot, (Silverman) crouched down behind the desk to avoid him being shot,’ Whelan said.
‘He was able to reach for his weapon, and realizing it was a life or death situation, was able to engage the defendant in the exchange of gunfire.’
A struggle ensued and spilled out into the hallway, Whelan said. Another doctor and a caseworker jumped in to help Silverman and secure Plotts’ weapon, he said.
The motive for the shooting remained unclear late Thursday, although Whelan said Plotts, of Upper Darby, might have had issues with the doctor over his treatment plan.
However, it’s unclear if that’s why Silverman was armed, apparently against hospital policy.
‘We do believe that there were some issues between the doctor and the patient, but whether or not he actually feared him is unclear,’ the prosecutor said.
‘From all accounts, (he) would have acted in self-defense.’