Father brings gun to hospital to buy time for his ‘brain dead’ son

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HOUSTON — A Texas father has been released from jail after police say he brought a gun to a hospital to stop the staff from taking his son off of life support.

George Pickering II’s son was declared “brain-dead” after he suffered a massive stroke in January. The hospital ordered a “terminal wean” which is a process that slowly ends a person’s life by removing life support.  The staff had even notified an organ donation organization that Pickering’s son was a donor.

Pickering, however, wasn’t ready to let go — now, his son, George Pickering III, is still alive and well because of it.

“They were moving too fast. The hospital, the nurses, the doctors,” Pickering told KPRC. “I knew if I had three or four hours that night that I would know whether George was brain-dead.”

Pickering decided to take matters into his own hands and marched into Tomball Regional Medical Center with a gun.

He admitted to being drunk and aggressive that night but said it was only because he knew there was still some life left in his son.

Police say Pickering threatened hospital staff during his three-hour standoff with police. Pickering’s other son was eventually able to get the gun away from him.

After hours of negotiation, Pickering surrendered peacefully and was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

One of the charges has been dismissed and the other was lessened. Pickering was given credit for the time he served in jail and was released in December.


  • Bob of all Bobs

    Poor staff. These people were just doing their jobs. Don’t give the father his gun back. Just another bully with a gun.

  • Lisa

    Bully with a gun seriously? These hospitals today are so quick to get you in or out. All because of cost related issues. I think if I were put in that situation I would snap to. Not all hospitals or there staff are bad. But there are those few out there that have little reguard for precious life of ones family. They want to hurry and just get it over with. Yes it was very extreme but I wouldn’t call him a bully with a gun. I would say he is a father who loves his son very much that he would do anything for him!

  • didn't matter

    They were moving fast fr the organ donations. They wanted then organs that’s why sienced they already called the organ donation place.. Like one said they make more money off organs they keeping someone alive . and clearly he wasnt brain dead so maybe they should investigate the doctor !!!

    • Jack Wilson

      Absolutely, they were pushing to pull the plug because he was an organ donor. If he hadn’t been a donor, they would have kept him on life support as long as the insurance company would pay them to do so. I shudder to think about how many patients who might recover are declared “brain dead” by doctors so they can get access to the organs. Remember, doctors cannot transplant organs from a dead person, they can ONLY get organ donations from someone who is still alive, and that person will be killed during the donation procedure.

  • Even Bigger Bob

    Bob of all Bobs is just repeating nonsense liberal one liners. “Bully with a Gun” is the only way their minds are programmed to see it. Rest assured, if “Bob of all Bobs” was hooked up to a machine and just needed a little more time to recover, but the doctors wanted to unplug him… Well… He would be glad to have a father that was “A Bully With A Gun” that loved him enough to save his life. A question Bob… What do you call police who save lives? They have guns… When they save the life of a person from somebody that would do them harm, do you cal them “A bully with a gun” too? Same thing… Man, gun, saves a life… Throw in a hunk of metal, call it a badge… does it change the definition?

    The only people that should be charged with assault with a deadly weapon… The doctors that ordered the hit on his son.

  • Janice Nunley Erickson

    Kudo’s to that dad! What the Hell is wrong with hospitals anyway don’t they have to have permission from the family to do that? Boy i would do the exact same thing if anyone tried to tell me I could just get ready for my son to die!

  • Michelle

    The comments are actually as scary as the article. Aside from not questioning how horribly one-sided it is in favor of the man who committed the crime, people are horrible uneducated when it comes to medical care/hospitals. First and foremost, families have to agree to a wean. Secondly, weans can be done to see the status of a patient (can come off a respirator or not), and to take them off the respirator – which can, in cases, result in death. Weaning can take hours or days. There is a chance this young man might have died while being weaned but the more probable result would have been the staff would have taken his vitals, brain death would have been discounted and care adjustments would have been made. Also, organ donation plans and alerting their agencies is proper protocol in cases like these. It is simply to have people ready in case the worst does happen. As a nurse I have been threatened many times for things out of my control but, more often, because of misunderstandings due to stress and emotional distress. Add a gun to that and it is a recipe for disaster. There isn’t enough information in this article to prove or disprove that this man’s actions saved his son. But the incomplete and skewed writing sets a dangerous precedent for hospitals everywhere.

    • bob

      They didn’t agree to it. That’s the issue.

      And the hospital failed to diagnose BRAIN DEATH. He’s not just in a coma. He’s a live and well, and living his life. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

      I don’t believe they were merely incompetent. I believe someone had a motive to want him dead.

  • bob

    If I’m on the jury Dad walks. I don’t believe for a second that the hospital mid-diagnosed DEAD. More investigation needs to be done.

  • Highland Perspective

    Organ Harvesting is BIG MONEY BUSINESS in this WORLD OF HORRORS that we live in. So, how much $$$$$$ are those organs worth ? ASK PLANNED PARENTHOOD. I am glad that this man saved his son from being BUTCHERED ALIVE.

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