Health First Arms Security Guards After Deadly Shooting
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 new security measures like 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 WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is part of Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.