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Jan 2, 2012 8:01 PM by Andy Koen

Security measures stopped wouldbe gunman

A man with a shot gun stuffed in a duffle bag was taken into custody Sunday at Memorial Hospital after he tried to bring the bag through the hospital emergency room. Pat McElderry, Security Director for Memorial Health System, says after seeing the metal detectors in the ER admitting area, the man turned around and left, setting the bag outside.

His behavior caught the attention of the security guards who subdued the man with the help of Colorado Springs Police officers who were at the hospital to investigate an earlier shooting a Colorado Springs hotel. McElderry says the man was somehow connected to the shooting victim but he didn't elaborate further.

The incident highlights the issue of hospital security. McElderry said, in this case the safeguards worked.

"In certain areas like the emergency department, like our areas where we have women and children, mom baby areas, some of the parking garages and our outside areas of the hospital do certainly need to have a security presence," McElderry said.

Firearms are not allowed in any hospital in Colorado Springs. However, because Memorial is city owned, concealed weapons holders can technically still carry their guns on the premises in specified areas.

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