Wyoming Medical Center to Undergo Security Upgrades Following Shooting Incident

Wyoming Medical Center to Undergo Security Upgrades Following Shooting Incident

A medical center in Wyoming is increasing security after a man with a gun gained access to the facility and fired at two employees.

Wyoming Medical Center is considering and preparing broad upgrades to much of its security measures, including cameras and access control, after a man entered the hospital through a back door and fired a gun at two employees. 

Some changes have already been made while other details of the overhaul are still being examined, WMC officials told the Star Tribune last week. The administration and board of the state's largest hospital have laid the groundwork to better fortify the central Casper campus. 

The Casper Police completed an assessment of the building last week, and a second examination by a firm that specializes in health care security is upcoming.

The changes come four weeks after a Casper man, who later told police he was overdosing in LSD, entered the hospital through a back door after midnight on March 4. The man was armed with a handgun and shot a total of seven times at two WMC staff members, hitting neither, according to police records.

Mike Staley, the hospital's recently appointed chief administrative officer, praised a housekeeper who first encountered the armed man. He and other hospital officials said the staff did "everything right" during the incident, from reporting it immediately to seeking shelter and caring for patients.

“When she saw the shooter, she ran directly to the security desk, and the security desk notified the Casper Police Department,” Staley said. “They were inside in three and a half, four minutes, which is remarkable."

Officials say the hospital's security team is now more careful and regimented in after-hours access. Security keeps a log and checks with nurses before buzzing visitors into the building late at night. High-resolution security cameras are planned for those same entrances, so guards can also see who is at the doors.

The emergency department is now the only unlocked door in the building after 10 p.m., the officials said. Since the shooting, a local law enforcement officer has been stationed there to patrol the entrance. The emergency department is the only area in the hospital that has metal detectors and a continuously staffed security desk. 

The medical center is also looking into new cameras that would allow law enforcement dispatchers direct access to live feeds, so should another incident happen, first responders can be fed real-time updates.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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