16 August 2009

Man pulls gun in ER, killed by police

Patient shot dead by police at Olympia hospital | KOMO News - Seattle, Washington | News
OLYMPIA, Wash. - An unruly patient at an Olympia hospital was shot dead by a police officer early Saturday when the patient pulled out a gun in an emergency treatment room, officers said.

The bizarre incident began at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday when the security staff at Providence St. Peter Hospital called police to ask for help in dealing with an unruly, 220-pound patient who was possibly armed. [...] The officers searched the man, identified as Joseph Leonard Burkett, and found two loaded handguns. The guns were confiscated, and officers later discovered they had been stolen from a home in McCleary.

About two hours later, Burkett was scheduled for a medical test, but when hospital staff began to get him ready for the test, he again became agitated and unruly, police said.

The officer who was on guard entered the treatment room to assist the emergency room staff. When he did, Burkett pulled out yet another gun.

The officer and Burkett wrestled for the weapon. During the struggle, the officer fired one shot at the patient.

Hospital staff immediately began treating Burkett for the gunshot wound, but they were unable to save him. He died there in the treatment room.
Yikes!   (h/t Gruntdoc)

As good a time as any to repost this as a reminder:

Always logroll your trauma patients.


  1. I'm a bit conflicted. On one hand, this sort of scumbag certainly had it coming, and only a complete idiot draws on a cop, but on the other I'd probably be a bit bummed out if they capped my patient and I had to code him as he died of gunshot trauma.


  2. If you read the comments you learn this man had a history of serious mental illness. The problem seems to be our societies inability to deal the mentally ill.

    There has to be some happy medium between lobotomies for nonconformists and allowing the seriously mentally ill to go unmedicated because forcing them to take medications would be a violation of their civil rights.

    I think this patients mother made a very unwise decision in bringing an armed and dangerous man to an emergency room. She should have called 911. Even though that would have been riskier for her son, an armed encounter with the police would have more surely ended up in death to her son, it would have been less like to kill innocents.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.