Safety concerns expressed at VCU Medical Center after employee shoots coworker dead

Hours after the shooting-- VCU Health announced it will launch a review of its security and emergency response protocols.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 8:36 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Hours after a shooting claimed the life of 25-year-old Ty-Quan White at VCU Medical Center, VCU Health announced it will review its security and emergency response protocols.

White was shot and killed by a fellow hospital employee.

Many wonder how a hospital employee got a gun past security.

Firearms are strictly prohibited at all VCU Health facilities, but employees are not screened for weapons upon entering the workplace.

Patients entering the emergency department must go through a metal detector, but hospital sources tell NBC12 that is not a requirement for employees.

“The trend across the board is that there’s an increase in these instances, unfortunately, of workplace violence,” Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association’s Julian Walker said. “It’s sad and unfortunate, but it is the reality of this moment.”

This incident sounded the alarm on a worsening issue: workplace violence in healthcare. Walker says many hospitals are working to stop it.

“This is a concerning trend, and so we in our hospitals are taking action steps, and really over several years have taken some action steps, to respond to these concerning trends,” he said.

While Virginia law does not prohibit the possession of firearms in hospitals outright, they are banned at VCU by anyone other than law enforcement.

“These policies are going to vary from one facility to another, but what I can tell you is that hospitals take this seriously,” Walker said. “It is a significant concern for hospitals.”

Walker says many hospitals are ramping up security measures to protect employees and patients.

“Increasing their security presence, implementing new policies and security measures, including in some cases, installing security checkpoints and scans, posting signage,” he said.

VCU Health spokesperson Michael Porter says they have over 100 full-time security staff members.

He says VCU Police also patrol the hospital. VCU Health also contracts with private security companies.

VCU is offering counseling resources for employees because of what happened here overnight.

The hospital’s CEO also says there will be an “all-hands-on-deck meeting” very soon to discuss improving safety.