Shooting suspect was not fired, New Britain hospital says - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hospital Shooting

Shooting suspect was not fired, New Britain hospital says

Victor Valcarcel was arrested for shooting two people inside a New Britain hospital on Wednesday. Victor Valcarcel was arrested for shooting two people inside a New Britain hospital on Wednesday.
Robert Barucci shooting victim Robert Barucci shooting victim
Connecticut State Police truck Connecticut State Police truck
Connecticut State Police arrive at the scene of a shooting in New Britain Connecticut State Police arrive at the scene of a shooting in New Britain
Robert Barucci shooting victim Robert Barucci shooting victim

Days after one of its employees shot two hospital supervisors, the Hospital for Special Care on Friday issued a statement saying Victor Valcarcel was not fired from his maintenance job.

"At the time of the shooting, Victor Valcarcel was not terminated. He currently remains an employee on administrative leave. However, HSC has zero-tolerance for workplace violence, and we will make no exceptions," the hospital stated in a press release.

"Hospital for Special Care (HSC) adheres to the highest human resource standards and follows a formal, multi-step process regarding employee counseling and disciplinary actions. Supervisors are not the decision makers regarding terminations; department heads in consultation with Human Resources make all final decisions."

 Valcarcel is suspected of shooting two hospital employees, Robert Barucci and Lynn Trask Wednesday night. He was arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on Thursday and is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

Police said Valcarcel, 65, of Helen Drive in New Britain had a dispute with a supervisor, pulled out a gun and shot him.

Court documents indicate that Vacarcel told police he was fired after  being asked him to increase his workload and he refused. According to court documents, he told police, "Bob then told me he had to let me go and he told me to go home."

The employees at the Meriden Record Journal where Barcucci used to work say their hearts go out to him and his family. 

"Our prayers and thoughts are out there for him, he has a lot of support," said Linda Langner, who worked with Barucci.

Valcarcel's son, Victor Valcarcel Jr., who spoke outside of court on Thursday told reporters his father was under a lot of pressure at work in addition to caring for his sick wife. His son said Victor Valcarcel was asked to do more work with less pay and his supervisors yelled at him a lot. 

"They presented him all the work that he had to do. He said 'I'm old, I can't take it, you can't patrol a whole hospital on an eight hour shift, it's impossible.' They added 50 percent of the property, and they added more," Valcarel's son said.

New Britain Police Chief William Gagliardi said in all, the two supervisors were shot multiple times in the basement, away from patients at the 200-bed private hospital. The remain at Saint Francis Hospital with serious injuries.

Because of the size of the facility, and the fact no one actually knew where Valcarcel fled to after the shooting, the building was locked down. No one was allowed inside the building, and no one could go out until police gave the all clear, which happened several hours later.

A New Britain SWAT team and police officers from surrounding communities arrived to assist the New Britain Police Department, and a police helicopter was also seen flying overhead as the investigation into the shooting intensified.

Emergency crews that raced to the scene included:

  • New Britain Police Department
  • Plainville Police Department
  • Hartford Police Department
  • Newington Police Department
  • West Hartford Police Department
  • Farmington Police Department
  • Connecticut State Police
  • New Britain Fire Department
  • New Britain EMS Crews

After Valcarcel was identified as the hospital shooter, police descended upon his home where he was arrested without incident, according to police.

Neighbors near Valcarcel's Helen Drive home, which sits about a mile from the hospital, watched as SWAT members pulled up to the home and took him into custody. Police said he was calm and didn't try to fight back. In fact, police said, it seemed as though he expected them to show up.

Now, New Britain Police said they need to figure out what happened during the disciplinary dispute that happened moments before gunfire erupted.

City leaders said they were thinking about the victims.

"Our prayers are with the people who are injured and their families," said New Britain Mayor Timothy O'Brien. "We certainly hope that they are going to recover."

Valcarcel is facing charges of assault and criminal attempt to commit murder. During his arraignment, the judge said Valcarcel took the time to go home and come back with a gun so there was time to think about what he planned to do.

Victor Valcarcel Jr. said his father has diabetes, is going blind in one eye, and hasn't been himself.

He said his father called him after the shooting and was pacing back and forth in the house with the gun. He said his father wasn't himself, he didn't know who he was.  

The Hospital for Special Care has locations in New Britain and Hartford and is the only long-term acute care hospital in the nation, serving both adults and children.

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