LEBANON — The Lebanon Police Department arrested a suspect following a report at 1:25 p.m. that an active shooter was inside Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) Tuesday.
to New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, a 70-year-old female
patient was fatally shot by a relative in the encounter. Authorities
said a person was taken into custody shortly before 3 p.m. while trying
to leave the grounds of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.
No possible motive for the shooting was released.
around 1:30 p.m., hospital employees were told to evacuate. According
to Robert Roth, a psychologist at DHMC, there was no panic as employees
evacuated. Employees were shuttled by bus to Lot 20, Colburn Hill, and
other areas away from the main hospital campus, though some employees
were locked in their offices during the active shooter alert.
Denis, a Claremont resident who handles information systems and support
at the help desk, helped keep track of who exited the building after
the hospital issued a silver alert — which signifies the presence of an
active shooter — and ordered everyone in the building to evacuate.
we all get up and expect it to be a normal day,” Denis said. “For
everyone but two people, it was just supposed to be a normal day.”
Denis said that following the alert, employees and
patients alike gathered at the predetermined evacuation point, a
procedure the staff practices annually, but they were eventually
instructed by DHMC security and other responders to move back. Some
staff listened to scanners on their phone.
“We bided our time, speculated what was happening,” he said.
In a media briefing, MacDonald and chief legal officer for DHMC John Kacavas gave brief, prepared statements on the incident.
to MacDonald’s statement, the shooting took place in the Intensive Care
Unit. Police were notified at 1:25 p.m. People were told to avoid the
area around the hospital, and traffic was stopped on a route leading to
the medical center.
“The arrest took place with no incident.
The incident is over and there is no threat to the public,” MacDonald
said. “This is an ongoing investigation and we expect to provide more
The New Hampshire Department of Homeland
Security, the Attorney General’s office, and New Hampshire State
Police, in conjunction with the Lebanon Police Department, will be
conducting the investigation.
Kacavas thanked the New
Hampshire Attorney General’s office, state police, and the Lebanon
Police Department for their rapid response and assured patients and
their families that the incident would not inhibit care at the hospital.
want to assure our patients and families and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock
community that we are working very hard to ensure as little interruption
in patient care as possible,” Kacavas said. “Dr. Ed Marrens, our chief
medical officer, is on the ground assuring that our ED (emergency
department) is up and operational, as is our ICU as law enforcement
tries to process this crime scene. Our ability to get up and running as
fast as we are is due to the efforts of our law enforcement.”
came to the scene to ensure that patients were tended to, bringing
wheelchairs, water bottles, wet cloths, and other relief items to ensure
that patients were tended to, until they were bused to another facility
with more comforts at around 4 p.m.
seen so many cop cars in my life, not in one place,” Denis said. “To my
observation, a lot of things went right. There were a lot of responders,
they were patrolling the road: everybody participated.”
The hospital reopened for staff at 5:45 p.m., according to a post on the company Facebook page.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.