Oschner LSU Health Shreveport addresses questions about security after machete attack

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is addressing questions about security at the hospital after an attack Monday by a knife-wielding man left two employees wounded.

“Yesterday was a difficult day for our staff, patients and visitors when an attack injured two of our employees,” the hospital said in a statement. “We commend our team who immediately followed emergency and safety protocols, including locking down the campus and dispatching local law enforcement. The safety and well-being of our employees, patients and visitors are our highest priority.”

Zaokoye Chatman, 27, was taken into custody early Tuesday morning after surrendering to authorities at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center and is charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree aggravated battery in connection with the attack. Police say he walked into the hospital with a “large knife” and attacked his own mother and another employee. Both are expected to survive. A warrant has also been issued for Chatman’s arrest in connection with a fatal stabbing on Sunday in New Orleans.

The hospital says it has more than doubled its security force since becoming Ochsner LSU Health in October 2018, creating a team of more than 70 officers. They say they are contining to recruit more. The statement also lays out a list of upgrades to the hospital campus, including extensive exterior lighting and call boxes, access control on more than 130 doors, and nearly 300 cameras with a state-of-the-art surveillance system and camera analytics. They say several additional infrastructure, technological and communication security features have been added in the last two years with more additions underway.

“In order to preserve the integrity of our systems and security protocols, we cannot provide the details of the measures in place. Each of our campuses has an emergency operations plan that includes various emergency responses. We test this plan by performing emergency drills and exercises throughout the year and use the results to continually improve. Also, our security team continuously evaluates our systems and practices, and we assess every incident, good or bad, to evolve, seek out new emergency management methods and research best practices. 

Ochsner LSU Health has the most advanced safety and security measures of any healthcare system in our area. We will continue expanding our protocols and evolving our measures as we navigate through this changing environment. We are committed to constantly improving our security and ensuring a safe environment to provide the highest-quality healthcare.”

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