Father accused in hours-long standoff at hospital says he did it to save his ‘brain dead’ son

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HOUSTON, Texas– A father broke the law to buy more time with his ‘brain dead’ son, who is now alive and well.

KPRC reports that 11 months ago, George Pickering II was in jail — charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors say in January 2015, Pickering grabbed a gun and marched into Tomball Regional Medical Center in Tomball, Texas.

An hours-long standoff with police ensued.

Pickering’s son, George Pickering III was in that hospital — on life support after suffering a massive stroke.

“They were saying he was brain dead. He was a vegetable,” Pickering said.

KPRC says hospital staff ordered ‘a terminal wean’ — a process where a person is slowly removed from life support.

Pickering says everything was happening too fast.

“I knew if I had three or four hours that night that I would know whether George was brain dead. I had blinders on. All I knew I just needed to have this time with George,” Pickering said.

When Pickering showed up at the hospital with a gun — he was disarmed by his other son. He then lied about having a second gun.

“‘I was in the Boy Scouts. You think I only have one gun?'” Pickering said.

SWAT officers negotiated with Pickering for hours. He says during that standoff, he got the signs from his son he was hoping to see.

“George squeezed my hand three or four times on command,” Pickering said.

Pickering eventually surrendered without incident.

“There was a law broken, but it was broken for all the right reasons. I’m here now because of it,” said Pickering’s son, George III. “It was love. It was love. It’s the duty of a parent to protect your children and that’s all he did. Everything good that made me a man is because of that man sitting next to me.”

One charge filed against Pickering was eventually dismissed, and the other was lessened. He was given credit for time served and released.

When asked for a response, officials at Tomball Regional Medical Center sent a written statement to KPRC:

We appreciate the opportunity to be included in your story. Physicians use their medical knowledge and experience to develop a patient’s plan of care and these actions save lives each day. When a patient’s condition makes them unable to participate in their own care, the appropriate substitute decision-maker has the right to decide whether or not they will move forward with a recommended care plan. However, that decision must be expressed in a way that does not endanger other patients or caregivers. Due to strict privacy laws, we are unable to comment about individual patients, but we encourage you to contact local law enforcement for a complete picture of the events that took place.

2 comments

  • Clarence Conner

    So where are the charges against the medical staff that ordered ‘a terminal wean’? That is nothing short of attempted murder. He obviously wasn’t at a point where life was no longer sustainable. He’s alive only because a good guy with a gun protected him. There needs to be charges against the hospital staff. They are not above the law.

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