Suspect charged with manslaughter after attacking pregnant nurse, killing her unborn baby

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LONGWOOD, FL – A patient at a hospital in Florida has been accused of attacking a pregnant nurse. Sadly, allegedly as a result of the attack, the nurse lost her baby.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office responded to the South Seminole Hospital after the attack occurred. Once they arrived, they learned that a patient in the hospital, Joseph Lynn Wuertz, had been accused of attacking an on-duty nurse unprovoked.

The Sheriff’s Office alleges that the victim in this case, who has not been identified, was assisting another patient when the attack occurred.

It is alleged that Wuertz entered the room and viciously attacked the nurse, shoved her into a wall, and attempted to kick her before hospital security was able to stop him.

The nurse advised police that she had been giving medication to a patient in the room when she heard the patient screaming. As she turned she saw Wuertz, who never said a word, as he began attacking her, unprovoked.

The victim, who was thirty-two weeks pregnant, was rushed to the Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando for medical treatment. Sadly, medical personnel was unable to save her unborn baby. There are no reports which would indicate the severity of the physical injuries the victim received as a result of the attack or if she remains in the hospital.

There has been no information released as to why Wuertz was a patient in the hospital or any indication as to why he would have attacked the victim.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office took Wuertz into custody and charged him with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, aggravated battery of a medical worker, and manslaughter for the death of the victim’s unborn baby.

Wuertz was transferred to the county jail where he was issued a $90,000 bond by the first appearance judge.

Wuertz is no stranger to the law as he has been arrested at least twice in the State of Florida for domestic violence.

He was arrested once in 2018 and another time in 2019 for those charges for allegedly battering his girlfriend. As with most domestic violence cases, both of these were dropped and Wuertz had no conditions placed on him.

Medical staff in hospitals are victims of violent crime all too often. Many would think they would be exempt from harm, considering the majority of the time they are helping people, but you would be wrong.

The CDC, in 2002, issued a report that outlined that hospital workers, in general, are at high risk for violent attacks of some form.

An estimate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported then that there had been 2,637 attacks on hospital workers that occurred in 1999. While the numbers have not been updated, we can assure you that number is much higher in 2021.

According to the CDC, their research found that attacks are more likely when there is a lot of activity that is occurring, like around mealtime, visiting hours, or transportation of patients. They also noted that attacks could happen when certain medical services are denied or involuntarily admitted.

The propensity of violence surely increases in hospitals that have mental health facilities on their campus. Typically, these types of wards are housing people who do not want to be there and are unwilling to get treatment.

The CDC calls for hospitals to develop safety plans in which all of the stakeholders are well trained. They also call for periodic reviews of these safety plans to ensure that they are up-to-date and all security and safety measures are still feasible.    

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Two Philadelphia cops shot, nursing assistant killed at Jefferson Hospital by gunman

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Authorities say that a 55-year-old man shot and killed and coworker at Jefferson University Hospital on October 4th before fleeing the scene in a U-Haul truck and later wounding two Philadelphia Police officers in exchanged gunfire where officers also wounded the suspect as well.

Details about the incident are still developing, but here are the details known thus far.

 

On October 4th at approximately 12:08 a.m., Philadelphia Police were alerted about a gunman on the ninth floor of Jefferson Hospital at 11th and Chestnut streets in Philadelphia’s Center City. A nursing assistant, identified by family members as 43-year-old Anrae James, was fatally shot.

Reports indicate that the suspect who killed James was a coworker, identified as 55-year-old Stacey Hayes, was also a nursing assistant. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw stated that it is unclear whether Hayes was actively on-duty at the hospital at the time of the shooting.

However, Hayes was reportedly wearing scrubs at the time of the shooting incident.

Officials proclaim that Hayes fled the hospital in a U-Haul truck following the shooting.

 

At approximately 1:25 a.m., Philadelphia Police encountered the suspect after a passerby at 40th Street and Parkside Avenue in the Parkside section of the city flagged down officers about a man in scrubs shooting into the air, according to Commissioner Outlaw:

“The report was that there was a male in scrubs, with a weapon or a long gun, who was potentially firing rounds in the air or just had a gun.”

When officers encountered the suspect, he reportedly opened fire on them. Two officers were struck by gunfire, with officials saying a 30-year-old officer was hit in the right elbow and a 32-year-old officer was struck in the nose.

The unnamed officer struck in the elbow is reportedly in critical but stable condition at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, whereas the officer struck in the nose was treated and released from the same hospital.

Both of the officers have been with the Philadelphia Police Department for six years.

 

The two other officers on the scene were not injured during the shootout.

Hayes was reportedly shot in the upper body and neck and has since been transferred to an area hospital, where he is expected to survive. Commissioner Outlaw stated that the suspect was wearing body armor during the firefight:

“We learned that he was wearing body armor, and was carrying multiple weapons. In addition to the long gun which was believed to be an AR-15, he was also carrying some form of a semi-automatic handgun.”

Hayes’ family reportedly told investigators that he was suffering mental health issues recently, and sources proclaim that Hayes was known to police and had firearms confiscated at some point due to psychiatric reasons. Hayes petitioned the courts in 2020 to have access to firearms restored, which his petition was successful.

Mayor Jim Kenney released the following statement regarding the incident:

“I want to acknowledge and commend the work of the first responders and police officers who responded to the horrific incident overnight at Jefferson Hospital. Their quick response in finding the perpetrator stopped this situation from escalating further.

Tragically, one Jefferson employee was killed and two officers were badly wounded-my prayers are with them and their families. Early this morning, I visited with the officers to thank them for their heroic work and wish them a speedy recovery.

The Philadelphia Police Department is conducting a full investigation. This is yet another example of weaponry that is far too powerful being in the hands of people who shouldn’t have access to them. We need common-sense gun laws to stop these tragedies that have become all too frequent.”

The father of the nursing assistant killed inside of the hospital, 69-year-old William James, spoke to The Philadelphia Inquirer about the pleasant memories with his son who’d come and cut his hair every two weeks – never taking a dollar for it, despite his father’s insistence at times:

“That’s some of the best times for me, where we sit down for those couple hours.”

 

William James said his son leaves behind his wife and two daughters, ages 2 and 17, and an 11-year-old son, saying “my son’s legacy is his kids.” William James said his son Anrae had a unique way of figuring things out, often getting his father to expand his perspective by trying to place himself in other people’s shoes:

“It was a beautiful, beautiful thing. And I ain’t gon’ have that no more. I’m not going to have that… It’s just not fair.”

A possible motive for the killing has not yet been released by authorities.

Please follow us at Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case.

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