Residents, nearby college placed on lockdown after shooting outside Georgia nursing home
A nursing home employee in Georgia was killed in the building's parking lot Friday morning, authorities said.
A man fatally shot his wife outside the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home in Augusta at 11:30 a.m., according to police. The Richmond County Coroner's Office later identified the victim as Jazna O. Timmons, 34, and the Augusta Chronicle reported that she worked at the facility.
Before police determined the shooting was a targeted act, they urged residents and staff at the nursing home to shelter in place. Augusta University and Paine College, both nearby, were on lockdown.
The Georgia War Veterans Home is a 192-bed facility that provides skilled nursing care and serves as a geriatric teaching facility for medical, dental and pharmacy students. The state and Augusta university operate the home jointly.
“Emergency preparedness is a priority for our organization, and we do conduct regular training exercises for events similar to the one we experienced on Friday,” Chris Curry an Augusta University spokesman told McKnight's. “We were able to work quickly with relevant departments to manage the initial incident and to provide important information and support to our patients, their families and our staff. Right now, we are focused on our people as they process this terrible tragedy.”
The university president said chaplains and counselors would be available for staff and patients in the aftermath, and Curry added that the university will conduct an assessment of the response later.
In 2015, another nurse was shot and killed by her ex-husband in the parking lot at Astoria Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation in Canton, OH. More nursing homes are planning their response to possible to gun violence, especially given a new emergency preparedness rule instituted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last November. It pushes facilities to design communication plans that anticipate natural disasters and man-made emergencies.
The 2018 McKnight's Online Expo will include a related webinar designed to help facilities be more prepared. “Beyond a fire drill: Emergency prep steps for active shooters in your building,” is scheduled for March 15 at 11:30 a.m.