DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Officials have identified a caseworker killed in a shooting at a medical facility in Delaware County Thursday afternoon.
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It happened around 2 p.m. in the psychiatric unit at the Mercy Wellness Center, which is adjacent to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby.
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“We heard shots and the police running through and screaming. Sounded like just popping. Popping and screaming and then they got the cops there,” eyewitness Mary Swallow said.
District Attorney Jack Whelan says 49-year-old Richard Plotts, a psychiatric patient at the center, walked in for an appointment with his doctor, Lee Silverman, just after 2 p.m. He was accompanied by his caseworker, Theresa Hunt.
Witnesses told police what happened next.
“A few minutes went by and they did hear multiple shots fired,” Whelan said.
Plotts allegedly drew a gun during a heated argument. At the same time, officials say the doctor drew his own gun. Officials say they both fired, and all three people in the office were hit.
The doctor suffered a graze wound, the suspect hit three times in the chest and torso. The 53-year-old case worker was killed. Fellow doctors called 911 and went in after the suspect.
“Together were able to disarm him and take the weapon away and in the meantime police did arrive, continue to subdue him, and then render medical aid,” Whelan said.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association Launches Vaccination Initiative Targeting Hospitality Workers
Plotts was taken to the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, where he remains in critical condition.
Dr. Silverman was treated and released late Thursday night. He is being interviewed by investigators.
The District Attorney said he does not believe the facility had metal detectors.
The hospital was open Thursday, however, the medical office building and treatment center were closed. Employees were released after a several hours-long lockdown.
At this time, it remains unclear who fired the shots that killed the caseworker.
The incident remains under investigation. A motive is unknown at this time.
Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital released a statement late Thursday night:
“We continue to pray for the victims and their families. As this is an ongoing investigation, we remain focused on working with the Delaware County Police Departments to understand fully the details of the event and to do all we can to assist those affected.
We are thankful for the responders to this incident, the many law enforcement professionals who are a part of the investigation, and the outpouring of support we have received from our community.”
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