SUMTER, SC (WIS) - After receiving several calls from viewers that Tuomey Hospital was on lockdown late Friday night, a hospital spokesperson told WIS News 10 the facility was not on lockdown. She said it was handling an incident involving a man who harmed himself.
The Sumter Police Department said around 11:00pm a man entered the nurses station in the emergency room where he presented a handgun and shot himself in the head. Tuomey Hospital PR Director Brenda Chase said the man conducted the act in front of several staff members. The man was treated and airlifted to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital where he is listed in critical condition but stable condition. "You know that's what's incredible about our employees," said Chase, "They were involved in a very traumatic event and then they immediately went to work on the patient."
Chase said the man never seemed to be a threat to any of the patients in the hospital or any of the staff. She added the hospital is currently conducting an investigation to see if any further safety measures need to be taken. "We want to make sure that we investigate it properly, you know, but on the security side as well as the employee side - making sure they're okay," said Chase, "They're used to seeing trauma patients. They're not used to seeing the actual events occur."
As a result of the incident, Chase said the hospital will remind staff of its employee assistance program, which offers a number of services - including counseling- to staff at any time. She said she thought employees handled the situation extremely well.