Tonight many people are concerned about safety measures at a Bayfront Health Hospital after a man shot and killed himself in the middle of the emergency room. Authorities say 61-year-old William Adams had the loaded weapon on him as he was brought in by ambulance to the E.R. after a crash Tuesday night.
Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins says Adams turned in front of another vehicle at the intersection of US Hwy 41 and Powell Rd and was injured. Crews treated him on the scene before taking him to the nearby hospital. Gaskins says investigators found a "large volume" of hydrocodone and other pills with Adams. Gaskins says once Adams was at the emergency room, he fatally shot himself. No one else was injured in the shooting.
Surveillance video obtained exclusively by ABC Action News shows how the crash happened. You can see the other driver in the crash get out of the car and people at the gas station rush to help. First responders called in to help say they had no reason think he had a gun. “We don’t pat down people. That would be a search. That is not something that we are trained to do or expected to do, or something we expect our personnel to do,” said Alex Lopez with Hernando Fire Rescue.
Adams was taken to the emergency room with a loaded gun and about an hour later he took his own life. People we spoke to say regardless of the situation someone should have checked to see if he had a gun. “I think they should have a protocol of checking people for guns,” said Crystal Tufts.
“There are a lot of people that for one reason or another have licenses to carry and I don’t think you can overlook that,” said Barbara Blavett.
Fire officials say that’s not part of their job and could even be a liability. Their protocol is to get an officer to check for guns if they see anything suspicious.
When asked about safety measures the hospital released the following statement “Ensuring the health and safety of the men and women who work in our hospital and of our patients and visitors is an important concern. As public places, all hospitals and health systems must balance the privacy rights of patients with the need to protect staff, other patients and visitors.
We have extensive security measures for a wide range of emergency situations but do not publicly disclose the details of these precautions in the interest of safety. We work with local law enforcement and conduct drills to prepare for potential scenarios and regularly review our security program to make adjustments as needed.
Because this is under investigation by law enforcement, further questions should be directed to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.”