Workplace Violence Strikes Three Hospitals

Incidents in Baton Rouge, Nashville and Little Rock spotlight threats to employees

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor, Facility Market
July 19, 2021

The surge in violence that has hit numerous communities in recent months also has hit healthcare facilities, increasing the threat of workplace violence that already had threatened healthcare workers in recent years.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Our Lady of the Lake is reviewing its security practices after a patient brought a firearm into the hospital recently, according to WBRZ. A hospital spokesperson said the patient was stopped in the lobby after an employee noticed what appeared to be a firearm under his jacket. Staff notified a reserve sheriff's deputy assigned to the emergency room, who found a Glock 43 with an extended drum concealed under the man's armpit. 

In Nashville, police recently arrested a man hospitalized at St. Thomas West Hospital who was found to have multiple knives, a hatchet, and sharp weapons in his bag while making threats towards staff, according to WZTV. Hospital employees say the man had been complaining of hand and leg pain. Hospital security searched his backpack, finding the weapons. The man allegedly made verbal and physical threats towards staff, punching the walls and raising his fists in a threatening manner. He also allegedly threatened to kill one of the staff and others.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, a 59-year-old man died recently after an officer-involved shooting at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, according to KATV. Officers approached the man after he exited a truck near the emergency entrance. The man was reportedly holding a gun and directed officers to stay away. As the man raised the gun, an officer fired his weapon.

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