York Hospital: Parents of slain teen had been inside
The parents of York City homicide victim Nylik Moore were inside York Hospital when they were told of his death, according to York Hospital officials, who said they hope to meet with Moore's family to address their concerns.
Shelly Buck — WellSpan York Hospital's vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer — said the hospital has invited Moore's family to speak with the doctors and nurses involved in Moore's treatment, so the parents know "our team did everything they could to save their son's life."
She said she hasn't yet heard back from the family. Moore's funeral is set for Friday.
"When they are ready, we will be here for them," Buck said.
Moore's mother, Cheirha Rankins, previously told The York Dispatch that the hospital wouldn't let her or any family members inside see her son's body.
"We're sorry for that," Buck said. "Looking back, we wish we had made a different decision."
Moore, 18, of North York, was shot in the 100 block of East Maple Street at 5:05 p.m. April 24 and was rushed to York Hospital, according to York City Police.
Dr. Daniel Carney, the hospital's medical director of trauma surgery, said a surgeon and emergency staff did everything they could but were unable to save Moore, who arrived at the hospital at 5:19 p.m.
Fatal wounds: He was pronounced dead at 5:38 p.m., according to York County Coroner Pam Gay, who said Moore suffered a gunshot wound to his chest that entered through his back and a gunshot wound to the leg.
Carney said Moore's parents arrived at the hospital at 6:08 p.m. and were taken to a family waiting room, where they were told he had died.
The parents — Rankins and Roger Moore Jr. — asked to see their son's body but were told they could not do so at that moment, Carney said.
That was because of the immediate condition of both Moore's body and the trauma bay, as well as the fact that there were a number of other patients being treated in the trauma bay, according to Buck and Carney.
At 6:15 p.m., Moore's parents went outside to speak with a growing number of Moore's loved ones congregating outside the emergency department, according to hospital officials.
The emergency department had already been placed on lockdown, which is a standard safety measure when a violent-crime victim is brought there, Buck said.
Tried to get in: Emotions were running high outside, and multiple people in the crowd "tried to storm the building," she said.
"We had to go on full hospital lockdown at that time," she added. That was at 6:27 p.m., according to a timeline provided to The York Dispatch by hospital officials.
The crowd outside became more frustrated and upset, and York City police officers already on the scene called for backup to assist them and hospital security staff, hospital officials said.
Things "rapidly escalated beyond anybody's expectations," Carney said, adding it's the first time he's ever seen that level of escalation on hospital grounds.
The confrontation between the crowd, York City officers and hospital security officers was caught on videotape by several of Moore's loved ones.
Moore's mother and three others were arrested, led away in handcuffs and taken to the county's central booking unit, where they received disorderly conduct citations.
Those citations were withdrawn because police are still determining whether misdemeanor charges are more appropriate — and if so, for whom, police have said.
The hospital remained on full lockdown until 7:24 p.m., according to the timeline.
Rankins returned to the hospital after being released and again asked to view her son's body, she has said.
The decision: It was at that point that a charge nurse decided Moore's parents should not view his body, according to Buck.
She did so because there was quite a bit of visible trauma to Moore's body, both from being shot and from medical efforts to save him, Buck said, adding the charge nurse didn't want the family to have to see that.
Also factoring into that decision was the condition of the trauma bay itself, and the fact that it was a busy night in emergency room and there were other patients in the trauma bay, she said.
The incident highlighted the fact that York Hospital doesn't have a viewing room for family members to see deceased loved ones, according to Buck. Normally, if the deceased was an admitted patient, that simply happens in the room where they died, she confirmed.
Family viewing room: Buck said hospital officials are now discussing the idea of creating a family viewing room. The York County Coroner's Office uses the hospital's morgue at no cost as its own morgue, the coroner has said.
Buck said hospital officials also are working with the coroner "to identify where we can improve our processes," particularly when it comes to transitioning patients from hospital care to coroner care.
The goal, she said, is to "be there for the family."
Carney said that normally, a deceased person's loved ones are allowed to see them, although there have been a few exceptions.
Gay, the coroner, has said the coroner's office policy is the same, and that her office generally works hand in hand with hospital staff to make that happen.
York City Mayor Michael Helfrich told The York Dispatch earlier this week that he is doing a full review of the incident.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.