Woman shoots, kills self at Viera Hospital; new security measures in place, officials say

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A patient at Viera Hospital shot and killed herself Sunday morning, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.

The woman had been transported to the hospital by ambulance after suffering a medical emergency on Saturday, but officials did not disclose what kind of emergency, deputies said.

The woman was moved to the intensive care unit after she was in admitted to the hospital. While in her hospital room, the woman removed a gun from her personal belongings and shot herself, deputies said.

Her name has not been released.

Matthew Gerrell, vice president of marketing and communications with Health First, said in a statement:

"On Saturday, March 11, a patient was brought by ambulance to Viera Hospital and admitted to the ICU, bypassing our security screening processes.

"Early this morning, March 12, the patient suffered a fatal, self-inflicted gunshot wound with a weapon that was hidden in the patient's belongings. No associates, patients or visitors were injured or endangered during the incident. We are immediately implementing additional security screening procedures for patients who are admitted to our hospitals via ambulance. Our hearts and prayers go out to the patient's family during this tragic time."

Hospital security was enhanced last summer with metal detectors and wands, but patients who arrive by ambulance bypass those security processes, a hospital spokesperson told Channel 9's Angela Jacobs.

Security was noticeably increased Sunday when a crew with Eyewitness News arrived at the hospital.

The shooting comes just eight months after hospital systems, including Health First, adopted stricter security following the shooting deaths of two patients at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville.

David Owens, 30, was charged in the shootings. He has a mental health status hearing next month.

Read about the shooting at Parrish Medical Center: 

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