Hospital shooting calls further attention to violence

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Following Friday's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the nation turns its attention to the role that security, gun control and mental health services may have played in recent mass shootings. Amid the discussion and shock, a gunman on Sunday morning opened fire at St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., wounding two hospital employees and a police officer; they were transported to a neighboring hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Police said they returned fire on the suspect, Jason Letts, who was pronounced dead at the scene, The Clanton Advertiser reported.

"In light of the recent mass shooting in Connecticut, too many of these incidents end with unimaginable tragedy," Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said. "The hospital staff and especially the security team should also be commended because they performed with selfless service which contained the incident until the officers' arrival."

An Annals of Emergency Medicine study in September found that hospital shootings are rare and typically involve a "determined shooter," targeting a particular person for revenge, suicide and euthanizing an ill relative. Article

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