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Shooting at Miami Valley Hospital: Unclear how inmate got free of cuffs, police say

Miami Valley Hospital.
Joshua Chenault

A jail inmate who shot and killed a security guard at Miami Valley Hospital on Wednesday pointed the gun at other people while running out of the emergency room before killing himself in the parking lot.

Police say 30-year-old Brian Booth was handcuffed while receiving drug detox treatment in the emergency room when he stole security guard Darrell Holderman's gun.

Alejandro Figueroa
During a press brief on Thursday, Major Brian Johns with the Dayton Police Department, said Brian Booth had no prior violent crime offenses.

Booth had no history of violence, and was only facing a probation violation for a burglary, which isn't a violent offense, according to Major Brian Johns with the Dayton Police Department.

A nurse at Miami Valley Hospital confirmed Booth at was handcuffed and shackled at one point in a private ER room. While he was alone with Holderman, it’s unknown how or why he got un-cuffed.

There were signs of a struggle between Holderman and Booth. Holderman had several skull fractures and lacerations to his face, according to Johns.

"There was a handcuff on the actual bed rail and there were leg shackles on the floor that had been taken off. And there was a handcuff key in the leg shackles," Johns said. "I don't know if we'll ever really know. Was he handcuffed when this happened or how this all happened? Because there was no one there."

Video footage from inside the hospital shows Booth pointing the gun at various people while trying to find a way out. He then shot himself in the hospital parking lot.

The Dayton Police Department posted on Twitter saying Holderman passed away from his injuries.

Holderman, 78, worked for Merchants Security, a private company contracted by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Holderman was one Merchants Security guard go to inmate transports.

Johns said it's standard practice for a single security guard to escort inmates to hospitals if they don't have have any prior violent offenses.

After the shooting, ER services were temporarily rerouted on Wednesday morning but returned to normal by midday.

The hospital president has said Miami Valley Hospital — which is part of Premier Health — is safe, and no staff were injured.

"Miami Valley Hospital is safe and secure following an isolated and tragic shooting at the hospital’s emergency department yesterday morning," Sharon Howard, a spokesperson for Premier Health said. "We are working closely with local law enforcement during the ensuing investigation."

As for increasing police or security presence, Dayton Police said Miami Valley Hospital has its own security that is certified, but the department will always support the hospital.

"Miami Valley Hospital has their own police department. They are certified to the state just like we are. So we're always here to support our hospitals and our community." Johns said.

Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Alejandro particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming

Email: afigueroa@wyso.org
Phone: 937-917-5943