Lebanon, N.H. – One person is in custody following an active shooter incident on Sept. 12 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and police are actively searching the entire hospital, Lebanon police reported.
Police said the suspect was apprehended at 2:57 p.m. Witnesses said police pulled a man out of a silver Ford Escape at the corner of Lahaye Drive and Mount Support Road, just south of the DHMC campus. The man was taken away in a police cruiser and caution tape was put up around the car.
Shortly after 3 p.m., Lebanon police and New Hampshire State Police were still actively sweeping the hospital campus. Outside the administration building, where officials had established an incident command post, hospital employees asked when they would be able to return to work. “They’re literally going from room to room to make sure that this is an isolated incident like we believe it is,” Lebanon police Capt. Timothy Cohen said.
Cohen participated in a 2014 active shooter drill at the medical center. “A thing like this is invaluable,” Cohen said at the time. “Unfortunately, it’s a necessity in today’s society. Not just in Lebanon, but anywhere. … Nobody is necessarily exempt from this.”
The medical center went into lockdown shortly after 2 p.m. following reports of an active shooter in the level four south intensive care unit. An alert sent to DHMC employees warned that they should shelter in place, while others evacuated to the administration buildings on the east side of campus close to Route 120.
At about the same time, police were told to be on the lookout for a gray 2014 Ford Focus with Rhode Island plates. The DHMC alert said police were looking for a 6-foot-1-inch male with salt-and-pepper blond hair and wearing a red camouflage shirt. He was believed to be carrying a camouflage backpack as well.
Hanover High School was locked down as a precaution, according to Principal Justin Campbell, who said all students and staff “are secure in the school building.” Lebanon High School, the Carter Community Building Association and portions of the Centerra Resource Park were also locked down, parents and employees reported.
Jean Fay, a cardio tech at the hospital, said she was in the middle of an exam and didn’t hear an alarm. “Someone knocked on the door and said, ‘there’s an active shooter and you need to get out now.’ ”
Fay said she got her patient dressed and walked the patient to Mount Support Road, where they were picked up by her husband.
“I saw nothing,” she said. “All is know is I’ve worked here for 33 years and this is the first time anything like this has happened.”
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said the Hampshire Department of Justice and the New Hampshire State Police are investigating an incident. Vermont State Police are assisting with the investigation, according to a news release.
Article written by The Valley News staff. For developments on this story, go to Valley News.