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Health First Arms Security Guards After Deadly Shooting

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Health First
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Central Florida hospitals are increasing security in the wake of a deadly shooting inside a Brevard County hospital.

Thursday was the first day some security guards at Health First Hospitals started carrying guns and batons.

Health First has four hospitals in Brevard County, but doesn’t own Parrish Medical Center, where last Sunday’s deadly shooting happened. Parrish Medical Center is also considering newsecurity measureslike metal detectors.

Police said David Owens, 29, brought a loaded revolver in Parrish Medical Center in Brevard County last Sunday. He was charged with first degree murder of Carrie Rouzer, a hospital employee, and Cynthia Zingsheim. Unarmed security guards detained Owens until police arrived.

Separately, Orlando Health has increased security since the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando. They’re screening people with wands and checking bags.

“One security measure the public has probably noticed since the Pulse tragedy is our increased security measures at our hospital entrances, which now include, in some instances, limited entry points, magnetic wanding of visitors and or walk through metal detectors, and proof of identification,” wrote Kena Lewis, Orlando Health spokeswoman.

Florida Hospital declined to say what security measures they have in place. Last year, a Florida Hospital facility in Tampa was the site of a shooting that officials said was a murder-suicide.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter for WMFEin Orlando. WMFE is part of Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.