UPDATED: Bizarre gun suicide at Iuka Hospital

Authorities say a man has shot and killed himself at a hospital in northeast Mississippi was just trying to donate his organs.

Posted: Oct 12, 2017 6:18 AM

UPDATED Monday 10-9-17 at 8:30pm
 
EDITOR'S NOTE: There were terrifying moments for some at an Iuka Hospital over the weekend when a man walked in with a gun. But there are also conflicting reports about exactly what happened, some saying that there really wasn’t a threat. WTVA's Mike Russell investigated what turned out to be a very bizarre story - and filed this report.
 
IUKA, Mississippi (WTVA) - There is no question that this is one of the most bizarre stories we've seen in a long time. A man identified by Tishomingo County Coroner Mack Wilemon as 54 year-old Gary Lomenick walked into a hospital with a gun. Some say that what happened as a result was terrifying, and others says Lomenick was simply trying to do a good deed.
 
As bizarre as it seems, it turns out that Gary Lomenick may have been trying to do his last good deed on earth when he walked into North Mississippi Medical Center on Saturday with a .22 handgun. He said he just wanted to donate his organs. Jennifer Grisham, who has known Lomenick for more than 30 years, believes he was trying to do something good.
 
"He'd already made the decision to end his own life," said Grisham. "In so doing, he wanted to help others on his way out. I don't think that at any time there was any threat to any employees, or anyone in the surround area, other than himself."
 
Of course, some at the hospital simply saw the gun and and thought otherwise. An anonymous source said afterward, 'It was a terrifying situation. If you were not there, then you have no right to say what happened. Everyone keep saying how he would wouldn’t have hurt us. Well, he made threats to staff. I would have loved to see them go stand beside him since they know he wasn’t going to hurt anyone else.'
 
The term "active shooter" was used in early reports - and given the circumstances, it's easy to understand why. A hospital isn't the typical place to see someone waving a gun.
 
But Iuka Police Chief Randy Stringer says that even though those at the hospital felt threatened, all things considered, it was anything but an active shooter situation.
 
"I'm sure they felt threatened, but what I consider the definition of an active shooter is not what transpired over the weekend," said Stringer. "That was a desperate that was looking to end his life, that went to some unusual measures."
 
The hospital released a statement Monday afternoon that says, in part, "We are thankful that no harm came to our staff, patients or visitors. The deceased was not one of our patients or employees. We extend our condolences to the family."
 
Also, Chief Stringer told me -- and this echoes the comments of my anonymous sources...there is no security at the hospital, and there hasn't been for at least 12 years.
 
 

 

UPDATE 10/09/17 

IUKA, Miss. (WTVA) - North Mississippi Medical Center has released a statement after a man fatally shot himself at NMMC-Iuka.

"An unfortunate incident took place at North Mississippi Medical Center-Iuka on Oct. 7. We are thankful that no harm came to our staff, patients or visitors. The deceased was not one of our patients or employees. We extend our condolences to the family.”

 

PREVIOUS UPDATE 10/08/17 9:00 p.m.

IUKA, Miss. (AP) — Authorities say a man has shot and killed himself at a hospital in northeast Mississippi.

Tishomingo County Coroner Mack Wilemon told news outlets that 64-year-old Gary Lomenick died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head Saturday around 2 p.m. Wilemon says Iuka police had responded to the situation in the emergency room at North Mississippi Medical Center.

Corinth Today reports Lomenick's brother says he was depressed and chose to kill himself in the emergency room because he wanted to donate his organs to help others.

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE 10/7/17

IUKA, Miss. (WTVA) - Authorities in Tishomingo County confirmed reports of an active shooter threat at a hospital in Iuka.

The Tishomingo County Sheriff confirmed a man walked into a hospital and threatened to shoot people before shooting himself.

Iuka police said the man died and they are notifying next of kin. They could not release any other information at this time.

Stay with WTVA as we continue to follow this story.

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