AUSTIN (KXAN) – The family of a man killed outside University Medical Center Brackenridge say they want answers. Michael Norwood, 48, was outside smoking a cigarette when a stranger shot him on New Year’s Eve.
His family believes the shooting could have been prevented.
“It just upsets me, it hurts me to the core of my heart,” said Arlicia Norwood, Michael Norwood’s sister.
Family members say Norwood was helping others until the moment he died. They say he was at UMC Brackenridge visiting a friend who was hospitalized with cancer when the shooting happened.
“He’s just that type of person, he was a supportive person,” said Latasha Black, Norwood’s niece. “He was a kind person, he was a good hearted person. If you needed him, he would come.”
According to police reports, on New Year’s Eve night, Norwood was outside of the emergency room door smoking a cigarette when 32-year-old Jesus Rodriguez pulled out a gun and shot Norwood twice.
“It could’ve been any of us standing out there,” Black said. “It could’ve happened to any of us.”
Norwood’s family is now trying to make sense of what happened while planning his funeral. Norwood was uninsured and family members are also trying to collecting donations to give him a proper burial.
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According to police reports, Rodriguez thought people were out to kill him and police say he had a gram of methamphetamine in a bag he was carrying.
Hospital staff had kicked Rodriguez out for causing a disruption nearly seven hours before the shooting.
“It opens up my eyes to the fact that we probably need more and better security in the hospital,” Arlicia Norwood said.
Family members say they wish the hospital would’ve done more to stop the shooting beforehand.
“There’s no way he should’ve been walking around that hospital for seven hours,” Black said. “There’s just no way.”
Seton Healthcare officials say they cannot discuss the case specifically, but KXAN discovered they have policies in place where patients seen as a danger are supposed to be sent to an outpatient facility.
Their policy also says that if someone causes any disruption, the hospital can ask them to leave. If the issue continues, an employee will contact the Austin Police Department to charge them with trespassing.
“I just think it could’ve been prevented,” said Arlicia Norwood. “My brother, he was an innocent bystander…when we go to the hospital it’s for healing, not killing.”