Woman shoots, kills self at Viera Hospital

- A hospital in Brevard County says it’s changing its security procedures after a patient shot and killed herself Sunday morning.

Deputies say the woman had the gun inside her belongings and that she was rushed to Viera Hospital by ambulance and admitted to the ICU.

Investigators say she took the gun out and used it to kill herself.

Hospital officials say they already use metal detectors and wands in the building, but the woman bypassed the security screening processes when she was brought it by ambulance.
 
“I am devastated. Right across the street from where I live - that's devastating,” said Bob Sheffey, who has received care at the hospital before and lives nearby.

Health First, the company that owns the hospital, says it’s immediately making security changes.

"We will work with our EMS partners to enhance our security screenings for all patients' belongings that are transported through our Emergency Departments,” Matthew Gerrell, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Health First said in a statement sent to FOX 35.
 
“I know there have been lots of discussions in the last several years about how hospitals and health care organizers in general can be safer and more secure,” said Zach Hudson, a security expert.

Hudson says hospitals should have an all-hands-on-deck approach to safety.

“You really got to do a review on your specific policy and procedures regarding patient belongings. You need to have layers of security and it shouldn't just be the security personnel – all staff members should be involved in that security process,” Hudson said.

Deputies say the woman fired one shot and that no one else was hurt. They say she was taken to the hospital for a medical emergency, but have not explained what that was.

The woman’s name has not been released.

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