SAN DIEGO (KSWB) — A San Diego children’s hospital has stepped up security measures after a pharmacist allegedly threatened to “shoot up” the medical center and “burn it down.”
Augusto Sioson, 54, is suspected of making the threats against Rady Children’s Hospital, the San Diego Police Department told KSWB-TV. Using a Gun Violence Emergency Protective Order, SDPD seized 13 rifles and handguns from the pharmacist’s home, as well as an estimated 136,000 rounds of ammunition, after someone reported the alleged threats on Feb. 7.
“This is just one of hundreds of dangerous situations that have been prevented with a Gun Violence Restraining Order,” San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliot said. “We are aggressively pursuing a GVRO in this case to protect the employees, those who visit the hospital, and any others who come into contact with this individual.”
After police seized the firearms, Sioson was taken into custody and transferred to a medical facility for a mental health evaluation, according to SDPD Lt. Shawn Takeuchi. The lieutenant said the law used to place Sioson in custody allowed him to be held for 72 hours. He did not share further details on whether the pharmacist was still in custody or would face criminal charges.
The protective order used to seize Sioson’s guns expires after 21 days, under California law. At that point, there will be a hearing and a judge will have the option to extend the order.
The hospital provided sparse details regarding the incident, but said that the threat had targeted “specific employees” on the medical center’s main campus north of Mission Valley.
“The safety of our patients, family and staff is always our top priority,” a Rady’s spokesperson said in a written statement. “We have taken steps to assure safety for patients, staff and visitors, including working closely with law enforcement.”