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WMAR airs 'Grey's' episode - echo of Hopkins events

WMAR-TV, Baltimore's ABC affiliate, Thursday night aired a rerun of the medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" that contained graphic violence eerily similar to the real-life events that took place earlier in the day at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The episode, which was last year's season finale of the hospital series, involved a man who becomes angry after his wife dies and goes on a shooting spree in the hospital while hunting for the doctor who treated her. The last image before the first commercial is a doctor shot in the head by the gunman.

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At Hopkins Thursday, a doctor was shot by a man who became angry about his mother's condition after surgery. The doctor survived the shooting, but the gunman killed himself and his mother.

In the hour before the episode aired — and then again while it was shown at 9 p.m. — WMAR ran a warning at the bottom of the screen telling viewers that the episode contained "events similar" to those "that happened today at Hopkins."

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The warning further told viewers that "the storyline" in the show is "fictitious and in no way related to today's events." It did caution viewers that the episode contained graphic violence.

In response to inquiries from the Sun, WMAR General Manager Bill Hooper sent an e-mail to the Sun at 8:15 p.m. saying, "We plan to address this live just before the show starts."

What do you think of the decision to air the episode given the events earlier in the day? Was the warning adequate?

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