Patrick MoussignacAug 9, 2018, 12:57 pmAug 9, 2018, 1:03 pm

Westchester Medical Center provides grief counselors in wake of murder-suicide

Area resident says it’s time for the hospital to add metal detectors


VALHALLA – After a murder-suicide occurred at Westchester Medical Center on Wednesday, the hospital is providing grief counseling to help anyone affected by both the physical and emotional toll it may have on them.

Hospital leaders said their security team regularly conduct simulation drills, especially ones involving an active shooting situation.

The shooting happened around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Police say 71-year old Richard DeLuca walked into his wife's 70-year old Ann DeLuca’s hospital room on the fourth floor and shot her to death before he turned the gun on himself.

Following protocol, the hospital immediately sent out a "silver alert” during the shooting.

An announcement was made that a shooting had just occurred inside the building. Staff members and patients who were able to be evacuated were led out of the hospital. Meanwhile, police searched the premise for any additional shooters, before determining that this was an isolated shooting that was also confined to just one location.

"Our staff are trained in safety and security measures and ways to safeguard themselves as well as our patients and our visitors," Westchester Medical Center CAO Kara Bennorth said.

Westchester Medical Center doesn't have metal detectors on their premises. Some said maybe it's time to use them.

"Metal detectors would be an ideal situation especially with the drug thefts and such. People need more protection inside hospitals,” Yonkers resident James Smith said.

The shooting has shocked many in the community.

White Plains resident Shannon said she was shocked to find out the hospital had experienced a shooting. She has been inside the hospital numerous times and feels very safe knowing that it's protected by a security team.

"The hospital is supposed to be a place of safety, you know helping people. It's just sad," Shannon said. "The hospital has been there for a very long time and I don't think I’ve ever in all my life that I’ve lived in White Plains that I’ve heard of any incident of such."

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