A 54-year-old pharmacist at Rady Children's Hospital is under investigation for threatening to "shoot up his workplace and come burn it down," according to documents obtained by NBC 7.
The pharmacist, Augusto "Augie" Sioson told NBC 7 "I have no intention of hurting any [coworkers]. They're my second family."
Sioson was identified in a Gun Violence Emergency Protective Order, filed by the San Diego Police Department on Feb. 7, allowing them to temporarily take control of 10 guns and ammunition owned by Sioson.
The protective order was approved by an on-call judge on the same night police received the information. Gun Violence Emergency Protective Orders are typically issued when a threat is considered "imminent," according to SDPD Lt. Shawn Takeuchi.
Takeuchi said officers took Sioson into temporary custody and placed him in a medical facility for a mental health evaluation after he was considered a danger to himself and/or others.
Takeuchi did not know if Sioson was still in custody, but said the law would not allow him to be held for more than 72 hours. He also said Sioson was cooperative with officers.
Rady Children's Hospital administrators released a statement Thursday afternoon confirming increased security measures on the main campus.
"At Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, the safety of our patients, family and staff is always our top priority. In response to a potential safety concern directed at specific employees, Rady Children’s main campus is currently on heightened security status. We have taken steps to assure safety for patients, staff and visitors, including working closely with law enforcement."
The hospital also filed a workplace violence restraining order against Sioson. A court hearing on the civil matter is scheduled for March 5.
The Gun Violence Emergency Protective Order against Sioson will expire on February 28 unless a judge orders an extension.
NBC 7 reporter Dave Summers spoke to Sioson and asked him about the complaints, and the Navy veteran denied allegations he was a threat to harm anyone.
Sioson said a joke about the coronavirus, which has killed more than 1,300 outside the U.S. and is the reason for a quarantine operation at MCAS Miramar, is what landed him in hot water.
Sioson thought it funny to suggest hospital staff wear Star Wars stormtrooper helmets to protect themselves from getting sick.
"They misconstrued my sense of humor," he said.
Sioson isn't sure if he can get his job back, but he hopes to clear his name and get his guns back.