Friends and family gathered Wednesday night to remember the dedicated caseworker who died when investigators say one of her patients opened fire inside a Pennsylvania wellness center.
Delaware County authorities say that Richard Plotts shot and killed Theresa Hunt Thursday afternoon during a medical visit at the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center located on the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital campus along Lansdowne Avenue.
Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said that Plotts, 49, was upset about Mercy-Fitzgerald Hospital's ban on guns when he held Dr. Lee Silverman and Hunt hostage. Plotts then fired a .32 caliber revolver, killing Hunt, who was his caseworker, and grazing the physician in the head, officials said.
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Silverman used his own gun to return fire and injure Plotts but it was too late for Hunt -- who was described as a beloved sister and aunt.
"We feel like we lost a family member," said Hunt's neighbor Marge LaBrum. "When we used to say to her, 'Theresa, how do you take care of them when they're mentally ill and could hurt you?' she said 'It's a chance I have to take because I have to take care of them.'"
Hunt's funeral took place Wednesday and began with a visitation at 6 p.m. at John Stretch Funeral Home on Eagle Road in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
Hunt will buried at Riverview Cemetery in Hancock, New York on Friday. The family asked that donations be made to the Community Care Program at Mercy Fitzgerald or Philadelphia's Horizon House.
Plotts remains in custody and has yet to be arraigned. Police still do not know how the convicted felon with a history of mental health problems obtained the weapon he used in the shooting.
Plotts, whose past includes time in mental health facility and guilty verdicts for disorderly conduct and firearms violations, and guilty pleas to assault and forgery charges, faces 10 counts related to the wellness center shooting including first-degree murder, criminal homicide, aggravated assault, weapons and related charges. Authorities have yet to set an arraignment date.