Doctor in Psych Unit Shootout Released from Hospital, Patient Remains Critical

The doctor shot during a gunfight with a psychiatric patient inside a Delaware County wellness center has been released from the hospital.

Dr. Lee Silverman told county investigators he acted in self defense when he returned fire at 49-year-old Richard Plotts inside a small, third floor office at Mercy-Fitzgerald Hospital's Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center in Darby, Pa. on Thursday afternoon.

Plotts, a patient of Silverman's psychiatric unit, had come to meet with the doctor along with his case worker, 53-year-old Theresa Hunt, when an argument broke out. Officials say Plotts then pulled out a gun and held both Silverman and Hunt hostage before opening fire.

Hunt was killed, officials said. Silverman was grazed in the head by bullets before grabbing his own pistol and shooting Plotts three times in the stomach and arm. Nearby doctors and case workers, who witnessed the standoff, then rushed into the room and wrestled the gun away from the suspect.

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Both Silverman and Plotts were taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's trauma center in Philadelphia. Silverman was released late Thursday night, according to the Delaware County District Attorney's Office.

Plotts, however, remains in critical, but stable condition after emergency surgery, officials said.

Detectives are still trying to piece together what sparked Plotts, who has a well-documented troubled past, to pull out a gun and fire.

Plotts' ex-wife, who spoke to on the condition of anonymity, described the man as an abusive con-artist who served time in prison for fraud and a bank robbery. Records show he also violated his parole several years ago by possessing a firearm. It is unclear how he obtained the weapon allegedly used in Thursday's shooting.

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