Police fatally shoot man in Cleveland Clinic Florida ER

A 29-year-old man was shot and killed by deputies in the emergency room of Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital in Vero Beach, Fla., after he ran through the hospital with a pair of scissors and raised them in the direction of police, according to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Eric Flowers said the incident occurred about 10:30 p.m. March 26. The man was brought to Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital by his family on March 25 after attempting suicide. He was in a bed in a narrow hallway of the emergency room, where patients were staged given that all rooms were full, according to the sheriff.  

The sheriff did note that, the day prior, the patient had been transferred to another facility under Florida's Baker Act, which allows physicians, mental health professionals, judges and law enforcement to commit a person to a mental health treatment center for up to 72 hours if they display certain violent or suicidal signs of mental illness.

"For whatever reason, they didn't accept him," Mr. Flowers said. "We're looking into that, why he wasn't accepted." He was then brought back to the Cleveland Clinic hospital's ER bed in the hallway. 

Four deputies were in the emergency room when the patient stood up from the gurnee, grabbed a pair of large scissors and ran through the hospital. Deputies heard the commotion and chased him. As they closed in, the patient turned and raised the scissors above his head, prompting two deputies to shoot and kill the patient. 

"The entire incident from when they see him and start to give chase to when he is on the ground is 5 seconds," Mr. Flowers told reporters during a March 27 news conference.

The sheriff's office released body cam footage of the incident, which can be found in a report from local NBC affiliate WPTV here. The sheriff's office has issued a subpoena for security camera footage from Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital to share with the public. 

"It's a terrible tragedy, not just in our county but in our country. We are facing a mental health crisis," Mr. Flowers said. "The fact that they had multiple Baker Act patients awaiting transportation to a facility because there are not enough beds, the fact that this gentleman had been waiting a day and a half, shows what kind of mental health crisis we're in right now." 

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