Man who helped stop hospital shooter among Carnegie heroes

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2016 12:01 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A mental health manager who tackled a gunman who killed his caseworker and wounded a psychiatrist at an eastern Pennsylvania hospital complex is one of 24 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism announced Wednesday.

John D'Alonzo, 42, of Glenolden, helped rescue Dr. Lee Silverman after the psychiatrist was wounded by 50-year-old Richard Plotts.

Plotts is serving life in prison after pleading guilty but mentally ill to killing Theresa Hunt, 53, before also shooting Silverman at the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital campus in Yeadon on July 24, 2014. Silverman was able to grab his own gun and wound Plotts, who D'Alonzo tackled and helped disarm as Plotts chased Silverman out of his office, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission said.

The medals are named for Pittsburgh steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by stories of heroism during a coal mine disaster that killed 181 people, including a miner and an engineer who died trying to rescue others.

The commission's latest honorees include six others who rescued or attempted to rescue people during four other shootings and three who died during rescue attempts.

Glenda Clement Beech, 61, of Borger, Texas, died trying to rescue two granddaughters and her brother from a housed fire On Dec. 3, 2014. All four died from smoke inhalation.

Glenn L. Graham, 56, of Detroit, died trying unsuccessfully to rescue his grand-niece from a house fire on April 26, 2015.

Christopher Mark Rickman, 45, of Brooklyn Park, Maryland, died unsuccessfully trying to rescue two neighbors whose house caught fire on Feb. 10, 2015.

The commission investigates stories of heroism and awards medals and cash several times a year. It has given away $38 million to 9,845 awardees or their families since 1904.