Two Killed in Random Florida Hospital Shooting

A hospital patient and employee are dead after an apparently random shooting attack on the third floor of Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, FL, about 40 miles east of Orlando.

Police officials say that David Owens, 29, allegedly entered through the emergency room of the hospital around 2 a.m. on Sunday, July 17, and opened fire with a handgun, killing patient Cynthia Zingsheim, 88, and hospital staff member Carrie Rouzer, 36.

Security guards at the Medical Center managed to tackle and detain the suspect until police arrived. The Titusville Police Department said that the attack appears to be an “isolated incident,” and that investigators have thus far been unable to determine any motive for the shootings nor any connection between the shooter and the victims.

Owens has a prior history of run-ins with the law, including substance abuse and mental health issues. He is currently being held at Brevard County Jail, where he has been charged with two counts of premeditated murder.

Parrish Medical Center has since been cleared for safety by authorities. It’s not clear how Owens managed to get past security; a statement from Parrish said that all protocols were properly followed and that the incident would be reviewed. While some 400,000 people die every year in hospitals from preventable harm to patients, this case does not appear to be one of them.

Victim Carrie Rouzer was working an extra shift at the time of the shooting to make up for a previous medical leave, said her son, Casey Smith. “Her job was to sit with those people. So, you know all she was trying to do is help everybody. You ask any of these people. That’s all she ever did. She wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he said.

Cynthia Zingsheim was also described as a caring woman by a close friend. “It was always a pleasure seeing her out there. We would talk periodically. Always had a pleasant smile. Pleasant words. Very concerned about people,” said Charles Hickmon.

A statement from the Parrish Medical Center read: “Our hearts are broken for the families affected by this tragedy, and we are supporting our care partners, patients and families.”

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