Thomas Jefferson University Hospital leaders are admitting that it took too long to alert staff about an active shooter who wound up killing a co-worker Monday.
“Process deficiencies” and “human error” caused a delay in letting staffers know through an overhead paging system that a shooter was in their building, John Brand, the hospital’s chief communications officer said in a statement to workers.
In addition, before alerting people about an active shooter, the hospital also initiated a “Code Blue” alert, drawing a response team to the ninth floor, where the shooting occurred, Brand wrote. “Although we knew the shooter had left, this was a protocol error,” he added.
The errors ensured staff first found out about the shooting through the hospital’s “JeffAlert” emergency notification system, text messages or social media, Brand noted. However, despite the missteps, “the outcome would not have been different in this specific case,” he said.
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The shooting claimed the life of 43-year-old Anrae James, a certified nursing assistant at the hospital.
Brand said the hospital will increase safety measures by, in part, hiring more security guards and conducting further training with all security personnel, having more police officers at the hospital and subjecting everyone entering the hospital to "enhanced screening protocols."
Suspected shooter Stacey Hayes, 55, knew the victim and targeted him, though investigators had not determined why, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.
Hayes was wearing scrubs when he shot the victim just after midnight, Outlaw said. He fled the hospital in a U-Haul truck.
About an hour later, a passerby flagged down police in West Philadelphia's Parkside neighborhood, near the School of the Future on the edge of Fairmount Park. There, they found a man in scrubs with a gun, Outlaw said.
Police officers confronted Hayes and told him to drop his rifle, but he unleashed a hail of bullets, shooting two officers. Four officers fired back. The man was wearing body armor, but was shot in the left and right collarbone area, police said.
Officer Arcenio Perez, 30, an eight-year police veteran, was shot in the arm, while 32-year-old Officer Edwin Perez, a seven-year veteran, was grazed by a bullet in the nose, PPD spokeswoman Tanya Little said. Officer Edwin Perez was treated and released from Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where his colleague was receiving additional treatment but was listed in stable condition.
Hayes was eventually captured during the shootout and remains in the hospital. He is charged with murder, attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault, assault on law enforcement and related charges.
Court records obtained by the NBC10 Investigators show Hayes had his guns taken from him months before the shooting spree. However, he was able to get his weapons back after petitioning a Philadelphia judge.