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Cops: Ex-employee threatened to shoot up Gardens hospital; police confiscate his gun

Posted at 3:59 PM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 16:16:07-04

A former employee at a Palm Beach Gardens hospital is accused of threatening to shoot up the emergency room. Police took away his gun after he admitted to the threat, using a new Florida law, according to recently released court records.

Palm Beach Gardens Police say Craig Grear, 61, told an officer he was going to shoot staff at JFK North Medical Center with his shotgun on June 21. A doctor called police to report Grear’s accusations.

“Anybody I wanted to hurt, I was gonna [sic] kill,” Grear allegedly told the officer. The officer placed Grear under arrest that evening. 

Records show police filed a risk protection order against Grear the next day. Risk protection orders, created in Florida under the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act," enable a law enforcement agency to petition the court to have a person right to own or possess a firearm and ammunition for a year because they pose a threat to themselves or the community. 

A doctor called Palm Beach Gardens Police on June 21 around 7 p.m. to report one of his patients threatening staff at JFK North Medical Center. Grear’s wife told the doctor he was threatening to shoot people at the hospital with his shotgun, an arrest report states.

An officer spoke with Grear at his home, who allegedly told the officer he was going to take his shotgun to JFK to shoot people the night before. He said he is disgruntled because the hospital laid him off several months ago.

“There’s a guy in the f***** emergency room that carries a gun,” Grear said in the report. “I was gonna go in, f***** shoot his a**.”

He said in the report he accidentally discharged his shotgun the night before into his bed.

Palm Beach Gardens Police requested a risk protection order against Grear, saying in court documents that he poses a significant danger to himself or others by possessing a firearm and ammunition. 

According to court documents, police seized Grear’s Mossberg shotgun. A judge ordered Grear to surrender his firearms and ammunition to the police department.

Records show he has mental health issues and was treated at a behavioral facility.

A final hearing on the risk protection order is scheduled for July 6. A violation of the order is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Grear is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail without bond under charges of threatening to kill or injure.