Gun scare at Florida Hospital East

- Security stayed visible at Florida Hospital East on Friday after the day started with a man inside armed and threatening to kill himself.

Orange County Sheriff's Office responded to Florida Hospital East right after 2 a.m. for a 911 emergency.

Deputies say a 74-year-old patient with dementia was armed with a handgun, waving the weapon around, and threatening himself. The hospital went into lockdown for several hours.  Deputies responded and secured the elderly patient and firearm.

The patient does not have a criminal history, said Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

A representative for the hospital said the patient was moved to a new location in the hospital and put under extra security guard while staff evaluated him.

The incident was noticed by many in the area of the hospital Friday; some who commented that situations like this seem to be happening more often.

Zach Hudson, a security expert and CEO of Grantham Systems was a hospital security guard in the late 90’s and said he saw threats and weapon scares happen back then, but he said the situations seem to keep coming up.

“People are worried about this issue,” said Hudson, “because this is happening ever 84 hours.”

Hudson said he regularly speaks about the need for a better approach to security in hospitals. He said he’d like to see better enforcement of federal regulations that require training of all staff for emergency situations. He said security has to be trained at all levels of hospital staffing.

Hudson praised Florida Hospitals for training staff in active shooter situations.

The hospital’s leadership, in a statement Friday, praised security as well as the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for their quick response and good resolution to the situation over night.

No injuries were reported. No shots were fired.

The hospital was in lockdown and was treated as an active shooter scenario. The hospital has since reopened for business.


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