Authorities: Trooper kills gunman who killed one at NH psychiatric hospital
|Published: 11-17-2023 8:32 PM
The suspect and one victim are dead following a shooting Friday afternoon at New Hampshire Hospital, the state psychiatric facility on Clinton Street in Concord, authorities said.
An emergency call about an active shooter came in at 3:38 p.m., according to State Police Colonel Mark Hall.
One person was shot, and then a State Trooper nearby shot and killed the suspect, Hall said. The trooper was uninjured.
“Although there will continue to be a law enforcement presence here for several hours as the investigation unfolds, it’s important to note that there is no threat to the public, patients or staff at the hospital,” Hall said from a staging area at the nearby Memorial Field parking lot on South Fruit Street on Friday evening.
The shooting was confined to the lobby of the secure facility.
Visitors to New Hampshire Hospital are typically greeted by a security guard who asks for all personal belongings to be put in a tray to go through an X-ray machine. Individuals are asked to walk through a metal detector before being allowed to go any further, similar to a security checkpoint at a courthouse or airport. But the hospital goes one step further.
All electronic devices must be securely held in a locker and returned at the end of the visit.
It was unclear how far the suspect got into the lobby.
State Police, Concord Police and emergency crews quickly responded to the scene after the first emergency call, including some officers who were attending a police academy graduation.
The State Police Bomb Squad is investigating one suspicious vehicle on the hospital campus, Hall said.
The victim was taken to Concord Hospital Friday afternoon, said Dawn Beers, public affairs manager for the hospital.
Lori Weaver, commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services that runs New Hampshire Hospital said Friday was “a difficult and unimaginable day.”
“Our hearts go out to the family of the victim as well as our colleagues. We have established a call center for families wishing to reach out to their loved ones,” she said. “We have teams providing support to patients and staff as long as needed.
“While the hospital remains closed to visitors, it remains open to serve patients and our dedicated staff continue to provide skilled, passionate care as they do every day,” Weaver said.
The public was urged to stay away from the facility.
“We ask people to try and avoid the state office complex at this time because there is going to be a large police presence here,” Hall said.
The facility, which has roughly 185 beds, is the only state-run psychiatric hospital for adults in New Hampshire. It is located near Concord High School, multiple state agencies and a district courthouse. It sits on a large campus comprising more than a hundred acres of land.
Friday’s shooting was the latest act of violence at a U.S. hospital. Medical centers nationwide have struggled to adapt to the growing threats, which has caused health care to become one of the nation’s most violent fields.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.