Hospital employee shoots two supervisors

Friday, February 24, 2012

An employee at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, Conn., shot two of his supervisors on Wednesday after a "disciplinary action," according to the hospital.

The victims were in serious but stable condition after the shooting, and the suspect, Victor Valcarcel, was later arrested at his home. The nature of the disciplinary action is not clear, but the hospital did confirm that Valcarcel had not been terminated. In fact, he currently remains an employee on administrative leave. However, the hospital has "zero tolerance for workplace violence" and "will make no exceptions," John Votto, the hospital's CEO, said in a prepared statement.

Votto praised the hospital staff's response to the emergency. "Hospital staff immediately implemented safety protocols and local EMS and law enforcement officials quickly arrived on the scene, cared for the injured and locked down the facility," he said. "The shooting occurred in an isolated building maintenance area and patients were never in danger."

Bryan Warren, president of the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety, issued the following statement in response to the shooting: “This tragic incident is the latest reminder of how critical preparation and education regarding workplace violence prevention should be to any healthcare organization and that no one is exempt from the risk of such an occurrence. Workplace violence comes in many forms, and while workplace violence incident rates have statistically been much higher in the healthcare and social services industries (typically due to high risk client or patient populations acting out against clinical staff), there still exists the possibility of employee-versus-employee or employee-versus-supervisor violence such was the case in this situation."