An inmate/patient takes a nurse hostage at Delnor Hospital in Illinois…

Then it all hit the fan. We discuss frontline medical staff safety and why people who hurt nurses should burn in Hades. Editor’s Note: new details are emerging on this, stay tuned. This live cast was based on press information at the time.

Shared anonymously by a coworker with me:

“The real story is about her heroism. This nurse which I will not mention her name as she wants to not be named at this time. I just want the record to be straight. The gunman was an inpatient and got the gun from the correction officer. The details are for this nurse to share I will not go into the details of her story because that is for her to tell if and when she is ever ready to tell it. This was very traumatizing for her and will need much support. I pray for her healing and recovery from this awful event. She is a HERO!”

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Join the conversation in the comments on the original Facebook Live video.

28 Responses to “Take a Nurse Hostage? Prepare to Die.”

  1. thomas ghazarian

    You make it sound like disaster was a averted when in reality a young man (who was just a suspect,ergo innocent until proven guilty) was brutally shot dead!

    He was probably mentally ill, why else would any type of negotiation fall through like that?

    It’s been said so many times before the police need to learn ways to de-escalate situations without killing people.

    Was there any attempt made to sedate him?

    It reminds me of the situation at the Cincinnati Zoo where Harambe was shot dead.
    Have these people never heard of etorphine or carfentanil (Wildnil) they can easily immobilize elephants.

    We have to find ways to deal with situations like these without bullets.
    In some countries like Norway the police don’t even carry guns, and if the officer wasn’t carrying a gun the man wouldn’t have had anything to take the nurse hostage with.
    I’m not saying that police shouldn’t carry guns, but they need a new approach when it comes to the mentally ill.

    Both the medical and law enforcement establishments failed miserably here, don’t try to put a positive spin on this.

    • Lisa Lego

      You are a idiot. The animal here is now shot and dead, thank God! this piece of crap attacked an officer, took his gun ran from the third floor down to the ER where he then entered in nursing supervisors room and took two nurses hostage. Barricaded in a room. So you idiot, had the swat team hit him with a tranquilizer gun, that takes a while to put a suspect down. In that time he most certainly would’ve shot both nurses. As it is the SWAT officer got shot and thank God he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Again you’re a complete moron !

      • Jessica Neat Overby

        I totally agree with you! That dumbass gave up his rights for peaceful negotiations when he took the nurse hostage! What about her rights? I’m an ER nurse and it is one of the most dangerous settings in a hospital. Luckily our law enforcement is always there when we need them. So thankful that this nurse is safe and was able to return home to her family! ❤

      • Roger Charles Delight

        Well, that was harsh.

        I worked jail medicine for 20 years. There were no “animals” in this scenario. Med transport is often understaffed and always busy, sometimes other officers are called in to cover a trip out and aren’t entirely trained in this aspect. Managed properly, in a proper setting, thousands of medical runs occur daily without incident.

        BTW, shooting people with tranq darts is a myth, ditto “knock out gas” in a tactical situation. As likely to kill as to fail, with success in third place.

      • thomas ghazarian

        Why are you lashing out at people?
        I’m an “idiot” and a “complete moron” the (now dead) perpetrator is an “animal” and a “piece of crap”.
        There’s no need to resort to ad hominem attacks against me or try to dehumanize the perpetrator as someone undeserving of life.
        There is no way you can be certain of what would have happened had other methods been used.
        Shooting him may very well have been justified, but you make everything seem black and white, the outcome was far from ideal.
        I do agree however that her life was paramount and I’m glad she’s all right, I’d just think that in situations like this it’s important to know exactly why such drastic measures needed to be taken.
        Why did negotiations break down?
        How did the responders try to deal with him before they shot him?
        These are important questions that you don’t seem to care about.

    • ZDoggMD

      Thomas, I’m sorry to say but you are dead wrong here. Staff working in that hospital have messaged me the details of this incident and this inmate is far from a victim, he was a monster. Stay tuned for more updates.

      • thomas ghazarian

        I didn’t say he was a victim.
        The nurse who was held hostage was rightfully the top priority and it’s a good thing that she’s all right.
        I just think that you paint an overly rosy picture, making it seem like everything turned out for the best when it’s not that simple.
        My only point is that there should be protocols in place to deal with such patients that involve solutions other than just shooting them dead.

    • Laurie Miller

      In your effort to blame everyone but the man that was holding another person against her will and threatening others with a loaded weapon, you have proven that your common sense is lacking. The man was shot because he was breaking the law holding a hostage and would not release her which at that point he was not a suspect he was committing a criminal act. Yes the nurses and swat team were heroes because only the person committing the crime was killed and in this situation many more could have suffered a great loss.
      I would love to insult you but I can’t even…

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      Stealing a gun and taking a hostage puts the perp outside of protection, because he obviously doesn’t care about OTHERS safety.

    • Emily Kent

      Much like the zoo incident, we have to leave it to the experts to know best. I believe in that case, they said tranquilizer darts would take a long time to work (if they worked at all) and may even make the animal more angry. The life of the child was of prime importance, so the zoologist did not hesitate to shoot the animal.

      There are a lot of details we don’t yet know. I sympathize with your point that the death was unfortunate. But I believe it’s the best case scenario in this instance. and I think the more details that come out later will back that up.

      • thomas ghazarian

        Well finally someone’s making sense.
        I certainly rather see the hostage taker die rather than the nurse get hurt.
        My only point was that technologies such as tranquilizer darts can be developed (for humans)., and it is unfortunate to see a man have to be shot to death.
        And as you said we don’t know all the details

    • Kim Snyder

      I’m sure there are many points to be made on both sides of this issue, and more details to come to public light. However, I’m sure you would have felt differently if you were the nurse being held hostage or if that nurse were your loved one. Law enforcement’s first goal in a situation like this is to prevent further damages – I’m sure that they did all they could before that shot took his life. Ours is not to question them and their decisions in that situation.

  2. Cheryl Harrison Nettles

    When I worked at the jail, nurses would be the first to be taken hostage, since we weren’t trained liked CO’s.

  3. Roger Charles Delight

    About 80% of inmate escapes (all levels, from county jails up) somehow involve medical services. Getting off campus is a way to break monotony, try to rendevous with associates, steal drugs and instruments, and/or hightail it. Sometimes medical staff are implicated.

  4. Jay Ruffner

    Worst populations for this type of incident: 1. Jailed pending trial. 2. Older Juvies. 3. Jailed for violent crime and / or crazy. Opportunistic bad decision makers are the things of nightmares! Had several gun related incidents in the ERs I worked in. More than half were a struggle over a LEOs weapon. All were in the Chicago suburbs too! What gets me frustrated the most is that a bartender, soccer mom, or convenience store clerk can protect themselves but hospital staff cannot? We are commonly rely on unarmed security staff who are commonly tasked elsewhere for productivity reasons!! WTH?? The current mantra for active shooter is to run, hide, then fight. With what?!?! We are entrusted to be able to think on our feet in life or death situations, maintain calm while providing care, start an IV on a squirmy infant with parents shouting over our shoulders, but we don’t posses the ability to place the red dot in center mass and pull the trigger? 3 hours of hell for these nurses to save face for the Admins whose decisions place them in jeopardy every day. The population is pissed off, crazy, and unmedicated. Protect yourselves!!

  5. Steven Harris

    Im a director of nursing at a maximum security prison. This is my biggest fear every time we have to send an offendor out for more advanced treatment/assessment. People really dont understand the dangers we willingly place ourselves in daily as health care workers; be it exposure to biological death sentences (aids, hiv, hepatitis, etc.) or psychologically impaired (drug induced or otherwise) people. First responders, nurses, and fire and rescue are always exposed. Self defense training should be part of our skill set.

  6. Taryn Sonntag

    The news is reporting that a SWAT team member was shot in his vest. If someone shoots at them, they have he right to shoot back. Besides the fact that they said negotiations broke down and a woman was being held in a room with an unstable person with a gun. Completely justified!

  7. Jamie Maestas

    I just spent 9 months as a travel nurse in a ED in St Louis. My first week there I saw 3 nurses get assaulted. One with a head injury who never received a CT (mind you any drunk off the street that came in altered was scanned). I ducked from many punches, but called every name in the book and watched security fall asleep in A chair, listend to security say how they are not gonna go home beat up and have to explain that to their kids. I felt for my life more then once pulling patients with GSW out of cars in the ambulance bay. It truely is a battle ground. Sure the front doors of the ED has a metal detector but the main entrance does not or the ambulance bay. We have multiple prisoners in the ED shackled to the stretchers, always accompanied by 2 guards or police depending which facility they came from. I got to know the guards as well as my own co-workers. And let me tell you those guards are tired. They worked a whole shift and volunteered to accompany the inmate for easy overtime. All these issues management was aware of but no changes have been made to increase staff safety. It is a war zone. Someone will have to die before any changes are made. Or they won’t make changes they will just find a way to blame a staff member. I now work in a peds ED where I have been called a Fucking bitch by a 5-year-old with a mother that thinks it cute and watched a 300lb 15-year-old take down a sitter. I love my job as an ED nurse I only wish changes and rules can be made before an incident happens but it never will because it’s not budget friendly. I am just thankful everyday me and my co-workers clock out safely together.

  8. Ashley P

    I’m a student nurse, and I had a clinical with a patient who was mentally unstable. I assumed he was fairly harmless, but did see incidents of violent behavior. After that, I found that the last nurse had basically had to deal with him attempting to strangle her. No one told me though, while on shift. I was going in and out of that room, taking care of him, and no one bothered to let me know that the patient had attempted to strangle a previous nurse just a few days before. Thanks… really.

  9. Emily Mewett

    Hey ZDogg! I am a new Registered Practical Nurse in Ontario. I work in a nursing home so most of my residents have Dementia and there have been some times where I have been afraid. Thankfully nothing major. There are just lots of times where they are violent and resistive to care so its more me worrying about the residents safety. I plan to go for my RN but I am still very young (21) and want more experience first. I like that I can call up the RN any time I feel the need to. I cannot believe there was a shooting in a nursing home. Only in America. I am glad I am Canadian. I have only been registered for 10 months. I have already been abused. I am some way every day at work by residents. Sometimes its hard to care for some when you want nothing to do with them. Thankfully the staff I work with is WONDERFUL. I also work nights which means things are SO much more relaxed. Only 1 RN, 2 RPNS and 3 PSWs in the building. I cannot imagine what that nurse is going through who was held hostage.

    • Jj

      I follow news around the world. It’s easy to mock America these days, it’s the popular thing to do. But atrocities are happening everywhere. Everywhere, every day. Not “only in America”. What a lazy, uneducated comment!

      • Emily Mewett

        My comment is really not lazy and uneducated. I also watch the news and hear about stuff going on in other parts of the world. Still only in america would there be a shoot out in a damn nursing home 😂😂 please just go about your day and dont be so butt hurt.

  10. Brenda Hall

    38 years ago majority of my PIJ (pt. Induced injuries) where due to dx. Dementia ect. Back in the days of glass IV bottles when a pt. got in your face you called an orderly or two, sedated your agitated pt. then strapped them down to bed.
    I miss those days.
    Prayers to a sister may she have peace & Calm.

  11. Epador

    When I trained, it was no big deal to CCW in the hospital. Docs, residents, nurses carried, didn’t share their CCW status, and it only would come out when a rape or robbery was averted in the parking lot.

    Now, one specialist who has to respond day and night to hospital emergencies was told he couldn’t carry. So he stopped coming to the hospital for several months, requesting either armed security for him on campus or his ability to protect himself allowed. It took 4 months. The hospital caved but made him sign a no -disclosure paper. He was highly trained and skilled in both medicine and firearms defensive use.

  12. Stefanie Ehnot

    I”m an ER. While at work yesterday, someone called the operator, asked to be transferred to security, and threatened to shoot up the hospital. The (armed) director of security came in from home, and worked with police to trace the call to a known EDP (emotionally disturbed person). Still unnerving.

  13. Leah Hillcar

    Being a nurse who lives and works in a community with two prisons, we deal with these concerns on an almost daily basis. It would be wonderful to have some training happen with the prison personel. Things we should watch for, body positioning while working with inmates, etc. We have to be hands on as healthcare providers but there has to be some insight in the safest way to carry out that care. Also, working in a small rural hospital with a high mental health and drug affected population can be terrifying! Especially on evening and night shift. You never know who is going to show up at the ER door demanding drugs or whatever. We have mandatory computer training about active shooters that say see your hospitals own policy and procedure. What policy and procedure? We walk each other out to our cars because there is no security. We get memos about people who have restricted access because their risk for violence but no pictures! How am I to be prepared and on extra guard when I have no idea what that person looks like? Can’t we get a drivers license photo from the police in these instances? In the past I haven’t gotten anywhere voicing these concerns with admin so went to a city counsel meeting to talk to the police chief about working together to address these concerns and was told by admin (not current admin) that I’d be fired if I ever brought things like this up in public again. I told them I’m a citizen before I’m a nurse. Scary days we live in!

  14. Tamara Stephens

    This does not necessarily have to happen with inmates. Hospital my mother had recently retired from, patient brought a loaded gun to hospital. My mother’s unit. Was unhappy with the treatment plan. Took out the gun and shot at the nurse, minor injury but patient got up and started wandering the halls. Nurse got off the elevator saw patient bleeding from pulling his IV out. Offered to help him and he threatened to kill her. He was old with dementia but.

    RN Outptclinical setting with liver patients. I have been threatened by a number of patients. One of my coworkers had a patient who on the phone stated he was going to come up and shoot 2 physicians and the nurse coordinator. Went up the chain, what was done? Nothing. Security was alerted and a panic button installed at the front desk. Unbelievable.

  15. Dawn Nea

    I have been assigned to monitor five 5150 holds for our ED in a locked room, down a lonely hallway, with just a young tech by my side. I wrote an Incident Report about one night when they grouped a female minor, a homeles, violent, insane man and some elderly schizophrenics with me. The hospital has never responded and continues to assign such “insane” situations to us nurses. Because they claim they have no choice or cant afford to increase staffing. Yet their CEOs make close to a million a year.
    My question is… why do we continue to peer pressure each other into “being strong” instead of protest these outrages?


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