Former DOC officer: ER shooting could’ve been prevented

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – A woman is on life support after police say she grabbed a gun from a Department of Corrections officer at Palmetto Health Richland and shot herself.

Our efforts to learn more about what happened inside the hospital did not go to far. Both the hospital and the department of corrections are not releasing many details.

WIS was able to talk to a former corrections department employee who said the shooting could have been prevented.

Police say a patient at Palmetto Health Richland grabbed a gun from a corrections officer, Tradena Raynor.

Before anyone could react, the patient shot herself in the head.

The sequence of events left the woman on life support and Craig Baxley in disbelief.

“It was a major breakdown, it should’ve never happened,” says Baxley.

Baxley is a former major with the Department of Corrections, now retired.

Baxley couldn’t believe it was a DOC officer at the hospital with an inmate Tuesday who police say had the gun ripped right from her holster moments before the shot was fired.

“If the training was there and the weapon was in the right holster, it would’ve never have happened,” says Baxley.

DOC is not really offering any explanation at this point, other than saying it’s meeting with hospital officials to review policy.

Whatever that policy is, Baxley says it isn’t what he remembers.

Doc tells WIS Officer Raynor did five weeks of basic training and is certified to carry a firearm and transport inmates.

Corrections spokesman Josh Gelinas told us Raynor was carrying a “Level I” holster, as opposed to the newer, more secure “Level II” holsters.

“While it may not have changed this outcome, as a result of this incident we are evaluating our use of Level I security holsters,” said Gelinas. “Also today, Palmetto Health agreed to create a separate waiting area for our inmates.”

“While no policy can protect against every possibility, we will continue to review our policies and procedures,” Gelinas said.

For the record, Craig Baxley is correctly suing State Prison Director Jon Ozmint on unrelated accusations.



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