A Queens woman who apparently shot herself in the head Thursday morning was declared dead by Jamaica Hospital EMTs who responded to her home in Richmond Hill shortly after 9 a.m. But when police subsequently arrived at the scene and began investigating the incident, they discovered that what they thought was a corpse was actually still a living person—about an hour after she was pronounced dead. "The (EMTs) fucked this one up," one source told the Daily News.
The woman, identified by the News as Diana Rodriguez, had been on the phone with her boyfriend, who shared the residence with her on 115th Street, near 103rd Avenue. Her boyfriend, who was in Ohio at the time, said that Rodriguez had threatened to kill herself. He said he heard a gunshot over the phone and called her sister, who called 911.
EMTs arrived at the scene first, shortly after 9 a.m., and found her in the home with a gunshot wound to the head and a rifle by her side. Police say she was pronounced dead shortly after 9:30 a.m. The rifle reportedly belonged to her boyfriend.
According to the Times, as cops secured the crime scene, "a patrol supervisor heard sounds from the woman that made it seem as if she were still alive." The same EMTs who pronounced her dead returned to the scene at 10:30 and rushed her to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition. She held on until about 8 p.m. yesterday before she was pronounced dead, again.
“I asked the [detective] why it took them an hour and a half to get to her to the hospital," Rodriguez's sister tells the NY Post. "They didn’t have an answer. He told me ‘I’m sorry I don’t really know.‘ He kind of brushed off the question. If she had gotten the help sooner maybe she wouldn’t be in this condition and they would have been able to help her."
A Jamaica Hospital spokesperson says the incident is under investigation. A Google maps search for the hospital immediately brings up these three reviews: "Please avoid choosing this hospital for your own good," "This is the worst hospital in Queens," and "Just like Brookdale hospital rude, nasty, and pathetic."
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.