NEW DETAILS: Guard killed in hospital shooting previously mistook patient for prisoner

Law enforcement had prior concerns about the fitness for duty of an armed security guard who was shot and killed this week by the prisoner he was watching at Miami Valley Hospital.

The manager of the security company echoed those concerns in an email obtained Friday by the Dayton Daily News using public records laws.

On Wednesday, the jail inmate, 30-year-old Brian Booth, overpowered guard Darrell Holderman, 78, of Carlisle, during a large struggle in a private emergency department room where he was detoxing. Booth took the guard’s pistol and shot him, then ran through the hallway and pointed the gun at others before fleeing to the parking lot. There, Booth, of Miamisburg, shot and killed himself, Dayton police Maj. Brian Johns said Thursday.

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Holderman was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who worked for Merchants Security. The company has had a contract for more than 21 years with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to guard some inmates admitted to hospitals, Sheriff Rob Streck said.

Sheriff’s Maj. Matt Haines said the sheriff’s office had “officially requested” that Merchants no longer assign Holderman to guard jail inmates. A Merchants manager on Thursday said while there were discussions about not using him, no such order was issued.

In an email exchange between Sheriff’s Capt. Julie Stephens and Nathan Burchfield, Merchant Security general manager, Burchfield said it appears that “it’s time to start backing [Holderman] down. … He’s such a hard worker but unfortunately his age and health are catching up to him.”

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Burchfield’s comments were in response to a copy of an incident report written by Premier Health Department of Public Safety Sgt. Dalton Bybee included in the email from Stephens.

The report describes an April 29 incident when Holderman escorted a prisoner to the bathroom, then stepped out of the room to make a call to his supervisor and briefly mistook another man for the prisoner he was watching.

A witness who works at the hospital told Bybee that when Holderman approached the patient, he had his cane in one hand and the other near his duty weapon. Bybee said the witness was “slightly distraught” by the issue and notified her manager.

Holderman told Bybee that he briefly turned away from the bathroom, and when he looked back he saw a man with an IV pole walking away from him down the hallway. He told Bybee he mistook the man for his prisoner and approached him, asking what room he was from and where he was supposed to be, according to the report.

ExplorePHOTOS: Inmate, security guard die after shooting at Miami Valley Hospital

The man turned around and asked Holderman if he was speaking to him, and Holderman said he soon realized he was not speaking with his prisoner and quickly returned to the room, where the prisoner was still in the restroom.

In the report Bybee said he asked Holderman for his supervisor’s contact information, but Holderman was unable to properly see the number in his cellphone.

Holderman said he made a mistake, misidentifying the man, and apologized to medical staff, Bybee said.

Bybee reported that Holderman’s supervisor agreed to find a replacement for Holderman for the rest of the night and said he would notify the security company’s director, Greg Murphy, about the incident.

At the time of the shooting, Booth was accused of a probation violation for a burglary. Dayton police said he did not have a violent history and no indications such an incident would occur.

Holderman suffered multiple skull fractures and lacerations to his hands from fighting back, and was shot in the back of the neck, said Johns, who said he had been a “go-to” guard for Merchants who “works a lot to support his family.”

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