Lawyer: Hospital shooter who killed random patient, worker is incompetent to stand trial

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TITUSVILLE, Fla. -- An attorney for a Florida man charged with fatally shooting a patient and employee at a hospital in an apparent random attack says his client is severely mentally ill.

Harley Gutin is an attorney for 29-year-old David Owens. He said Monday that his client is incompetent to stand trial.

Titusville, Florida, police say Owens entered Parrish Medical Center early Sunday and fatally shot 88-year-old patient Cynthia Zingsheim and employee Carrie Rouzer, 36, who was sitting in Zingsheim's room. Owens has been charged with two counts of murder and is being held at the county jail.

Gutin says Owen's family had been trying desperately in recent weeks to get him long-term mental health care.

Gutin says he has no idea how Owens was able to get a gun.

The gunman entered a Florida hospital through the emergency room early Sunday, went to the third floor and fatally shot a patient and an employee apparently at random, police said.

Owens left the gun in the room and was tackled by two unarmed security guards as he left, police said.

"The bravery they showed was amazing," Titusville Police Chief John Lau said.

Authorities said they have found no motive for the shooting and no immediate connection between Owens and the women. All lived in Titusville.

The shooting "appears to be extremely random," Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said.

Owens has been charged with two counts of murder. He is being held without bail at the Brevard County Jail.

Court records show that in 2011 he was found guilty of battery on a police officer and that twice in 2012 a judge ordered him to undergo a mental health examination.

Records show that other arrests for cocaine and marijuana possession and domestic battery were dismissed.

The hospital has reopened.