In an unsettling story reported in the July 25, 2014, edition of the Philadelphia Enquirer, an angry patient shot and killed a social worker and wounded a psychiatrist in his clinic office in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb.
The patient, Richard Plotts, mid-forties, arrived for an appointment at the Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center carrying a concealed gun. He was escorted up to the third floor office of psychiatrist, Lee Silverman, age fifty-two, by a social worker, Theresa Hunt, fifty-three. Upon entering the office, Plotts opened fire killing Hunt and wounding Silverman. Silverman, apparently armed as well, produced a weapon and returned fire, shooting Plotts three times.
“It was not clear why Silverman, a doctor for twenty-five years, was armed at the office,” the newspaper reported.
Plotts was subdued by clinic staff. Police arrived and quickly restored order. The victims were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Plotts has a long history of mental illness and a lengthy criminal record for assault, drugs, weapons possession and other crimes. A worker commented, “There’s a sign on the door that says you have to check your weapons at the front. But you can’t expect every crazy person to do that.”