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2 guns found at hospital shooting suspect's home

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm •  Published: July 26, 2014
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Authorities found two more guns at the home of a man suspected of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist in suburban Philadelphia before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back.

The weapons and a computer were seized from Richard Plotts' home in Clifton Heights, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said Saturday.

Authorities plan to arraign Plotts on a murder charge after he awakens at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he underwent surgery late Thursday. He is sedated and under guard.

Plotts, 49, was at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital for an appointment earlier Thursday when he began ranting about its gun ban and then drew a gun from his waistband and shot his caseworker, 53-year-old Theresa Hunt, psychiatrist Lee Silverman told police.

Silverman crouched behind a chair, pulled out his own weapon and fired back, striking Plotts several times, authorities said.

Plotts had 39 unspent bullets on him when he was wrestled to the ground, police said. Two guns were also found at the scene, including a revolver that police say Plotts used to kill Hunt.

"If the doctor did not have a firearm, (and) the doctor did not utilize the firearm, he'd be dead today, and I believe that other people in that facility would also be dead," Whelan said.

Police in Upper Darby, where Plotts once lived, were aware of at least three mental health commitments, including once after he cut his wrists and once when he threatened suicide. Whelan said Plotts had spent time in a mental health facility, but he did not discuss any potential diagnosis.

Plotts's record also includes past assault, drug and gun charges, including one of possessing a weapon when banned from doing so, according to police and court records. And he has been barred from at least one residential shelter because of his violent history, Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

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