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3S Stories

THE PEACEKEEPER: RISKING LIFE TO SAVE LIFE

In August 1993, Sophelia White entered a hospital in southern California with a gun, proceeded up to the third-floor nursery, and wildly fired six shots at nurse Elizabeth Staten whom she accused of stealing her husband and children.

Wounded, Staten fled downstairs, but White caught up with her at the chart desk and told her, "Prepare to die. Open your mouth."

As she took aim, Nurse Joan Black intervened. She crossed the room, wrapped her right arm around White. "I figured if she could feel my body, maybe she wouldn't kill me."

Tightening the hug, she placed her left hand over the gun and began to talk softly: "You're in pain. I understand, and we can work it out."

After five, perhaps ten minutes, Sophelia White finally gave up her gun.

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