Woman shot at hospital dies
January 22, 2014
The woman shot Sunday at Carson Tahoe hospital has died, and her husband now faces a murder charge.
William Dresser, 88, allegedly shot his wife, Frances, in the abdomen about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. According to his arrest report and Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong:
Dresser, of Minden, told law enforcement he'd come to the hospital with a small-caliber, semi-automatic gun containing four bullets — two for his wife and two for him. He said he was trying to shoot his wife in the heart and that the gun jammed after he fired the first shot, then came apart.
Dresser said his 86-year-old wife was paralyzed by a fall at their home a couple of weeks earlier, and he planned to end her suffering. He said he and his wife had been married 63 years. He was crying when deputies arrived and mumbling something to the effect of, "I didn't accomplish my goal."
Dresser's wife was taken to Renown hospital in Reno with life-threatening injuries. Dresser originally was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, with bail set at $225,000. He now is being held without bail.
Department of Corrections staffers detained Dresser quickly. They already were on the ward to deal with another patient.
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Furlong has said he can't recall another shooting taking place at Carson Tahoe hospital, and that he'd never seen someone in his/her late 80s get arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He added that he'd spoken to Dresser at length Sunday night, and that Dresser said the worst previous problem he'd ever had with law enforcement was getting a ticket recently for an auto-registration issue.
The hospital was locked down for a couple of hours after the incident. Hospital staffers were traumatized by the experience, Furlong said.
Spokeswoman Cheri Glockner said Carson Tahoe hospital has made counselors available to staffers via their employee-assistance program.
"Obviously, this shooting was a tragic situation, and it tested the emotions of everyone evolved," she said Wednesday. "Our staff and first responders did an amazing job."
Glockner said there haven't been any shootings at the hospitals in the 14 years she has worked there. She added that hospital officials are reviewing the circumstances of the shooting and have protocols in place for such situations.
She said some people have asked why Frances Dresser was taken to a hospital in another city, adding that it's because she needed treatment for trauma.
The shooting came about a month after a gunman walked into a medical facility next to the Reno hospital and killed one doctor and shot another, then committed suicide.
Alan Oliver Frazier, 51, made it clear in a suicide note that he was targeting physicians at Urology Nevada in the Dec. 17 attack.
Frazier complained of pain and fatigue for years in an Internet chat room and to neighbors — symptoms he blamed on a botched vasectomy that the center disputes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.