Thursday, September 2, 2010

Notifying families of shooting victims

Recently, there was a misunderstanding regarding notification of families when someone is shot. In the case in question, a man was shot and transported to an area hospital. He was checked in at about 5:30 p.m. An investigative sergeant gave the hospital the man’s identity at about 7 p.m. The man died at about 2 a.m. His family told reporters they were not notified he was in the hospital until after he died.

In this case, hospital staff are responsible for notifying family when someone is in their hospital for treatment. Police officers and detectives will assist the hospital with identifying patients when necessary. Hospitals are better equipped to deal with family members who may have questions about medical conditions and prognosis. Typically, the only time detectives or police officers will notify family is when someone is dead at a scene or dies shortly after arriving at the hospital.

We extend our sympathy to this family during their time of grieving, and we look forward to bringing the people responsible for this senseless crime to justice.

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