BROOKSVILLE (FOX 13) - Hernando deputies were inside the ER at Bayfront Health Brooksville, attending to a man injured while running from officers, when they heard screaming in a treatment room.
When they rushed to investigate and offer help, they found a nurse with a patient suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"(The nurse) heard a noise, and stepped back into the room to see if something maybe fell off the wall in there," explained Denise Moloney with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. "Then she started screaming."
The 61-year-old patient, William Adams of Webster, died as a result of the injury.
"They're used to seeing injured parties there, but they're not used to seeing or being involved in the act happening right there in the emergency room," Maloney explained.
Adams' trip to the emergency room began when Florida Highway Patrol troopers say he was in a crash at U.S. Highway 41 and Powell Road in Brooksville.
FHP said Adams was driving a Dodge pickup truck and made a turn in front of a Volkswagen sedan on U.S. Hwy 41, causing the crash. Adams and the Volkswagen's driver were both treated for injuries.
FHP troopers said they found a large volume of hydrocodone and other pills with Adams.
Moloney emphasized the importance of reaching out for help in situations where things seem hopeless.
"If you are someone who is contemplating that, turn to someone, or if you think you know someone who is contemplating that, reach out, let them know that there are many, many other options. Don't do it."
Meanwhile, Bayfront Health Brookville released a statement on the incident to FOX 13 News. It said, in part, "As public places... hospitals... must balance the privacy rights of patients with the need to protect staff, patients and visitors. We have extensive security measures for a wide range of situations... and regularly review them to make adjustments as needed."
Deputies from the Sumter County Sheriff's Office notified Adam's next of kin. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office said it will continue to handle the investigation into his death and the Florida Highway Patrol will continue to investigate the crash.
Both investigations are active.
Help is available
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255.
The hotline has trained staff available 24/7 to help those in crisis. Everyone can play a role in preventing suicide by being aware of the warning signs of suicidal behaviors:
- Talking about wanting to die; feeling hopeless, trapped, or in unbearable pain, being a burden to others
- Looking for a way to kill oneself
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious, agitated, or reckless
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawing or feeling isolated
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
What you can do If you believe someone is at risk of suicide:
- Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. (This will not put the idea into their heads, or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.);
- Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255);
- Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional;
- Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and
- If possible, do not leave the person alone.