A La Porte man is dead after police say he brought a gun into a hospital and shot himself. It happened Monday at LaPorte Regional Health System. The man was visiting his mother who had just died. The man asked his sister to have a few minutes alone, to pay his last respects to their mother. In those minutes, police say, he took his own life with a small handgun. Now some are wondering what type of safeguards are in place to keep guns out of hospitals.
It was a visitor, not a patient, that caught the attention of hospital staff late Monday night. Police say a 54-year-old man died after a he shot himself in the head in a hospital room. “It was an odd, not typical setting as far as suicides go,” says LaPorte Detective Sergeant Tom Thate.
The gunshot created so little noise, that no one noticed what happened until the man's sister came back into the room. Hospital officials tell us they have signs posted throughout the building that say "no weapons.” They also have one in the emergency room, where the man entered the building.
“In this situation, the security services department, as well as clinical department involved, they responded quickly and notified authorities and turned case over to police officers and once it was identified, they turned it over to coroners,” says Shawna Oros-Burke, with the LaPorte Regional Health System.
Although it's impossible to know someone's state of mind, some in LaPorte wonder if anything could have stopped the shooting. “But a public place like this, how are you going to be able to put the metal detectors up? I mean everybody is going to set it off, non-stop through there. Like the courthouses, doing the metal detectors in getting in and out of there, how are we going to regulate that?” says Julie Labadie.
“I believe security is not that tight if he's able to get into a hospital like that with a weapon,” says Miranda Myszkiewicz.
This is not the first time a gunshot was fired inside the LaPorte hospital. In October of 2005, a man entered the building and shot at his girlfriend who was a patient.
Hospital officials say all policy and procedures were followed in this case.