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DA Takes Closer Look At Western Psych Shooting Spree

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — John Shick was mentally ill, angry, seeking revenge and on the wrong medications – a man who needed to be committed to a mental hospital.

That’s what a UPMC doctor who felt threatened by Shick believed when he tried to commit Shick for treatment two weeks before the shooting at Western Psych and couldn’t.

“He found that he was of danger to himself or others which is what you have to conclude in order to institutionalize somebody,” Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said.

It did not happen. Someone at the county level refused that order.

“If he is institutionalized, he’s being treated properly, he’s being medicated properly, is it possible this doesn’t happen? Yeah – that possibility exists,” Zappala said.

Zappala also says UPMC must make immediate changes to security at Western Psych, saying there are 20 unsecured entry points.

“They are clearly vulnerable at Western Psych,” he said. “Something has to happen there.”

Meantime, Zappala says they are in the middle of an extensive investigation that could result in a criminal case of corporate criminal liability.

“I tell you somebody’s dangerous and you can take the appropriate steps to protect either a particular target or a general target, that could support a theory involving recklessness or knowing conduct recklessly endangering another person, risking a catastrophe, things along those lines,” he said.

A spokesman for UPMC says right now the district attorney’s office has not met with or reached out to anyone from UPMC.

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