Courts & Corrections

Police: Rutland man charged after phoning in threat to ‘shoot up’ hospital

RRMC emergency department
​The emergency department at Rutland Regional Medical Center. Photo by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger
RUTLAND – Rutland Regional Medical Center was put on lockdown late Friday morning after a man called and threatened to “shoot up” the facility, according to police.

The hospital went into lockdown at 11:30 a.m. Friday for about 40 minutes, police and hospital officials said after the incident.

No one was injured and Paul Rice Sr., 60, of Rutland is now facing charges. Police added that Rice, who was arrested at his home in Rutland from where they said he placed the call, does not possess any firearms.

Rice was charged with three offenses: causing a false public alarm, disorderly conduct through the phone and impeding police.

“A gentlemen called into the hospital, into the ED, making a demand and saying that he was going to go up there and shoot up the Emergency Department,” Rutland City Police Commander Matthew Prouty said Friday afternoon. “We knew who the individual was and we sent a car to his house.”

Prouty said a person known to Rice was a patient at the hospital at the time he called in the threat. Prouty declined to name that patient.

“The threat was toward the hospital,” the police commander said. “There was somebody there he wanted to see … I’m not exactly sure what his expectation was.”

The lockdown at the hospital went smoothly as police investigated the threat, Prouty said, adding, “I want to give kudos to the hospital for having a very good procedure in place.”

RRMC issued a statement Friday afternoon following the lockdown.

“The Rutland City Police Department and Rutland Regional Medical Center Security reacted quickly and appropriately to protect the affected areas while the investigation was underway,” the statement read. Once it was determined the situation was resolved, “the lockdown was lifted, and business continued as usual.”

Peg Bolgioni, RRMC communications specialist, later said that based on a rough estimate there were about 1,000 people in the hospital at the time of the lockdown.

“We were pleased everything was handled quickly, expeditiously, and there was no harm done,” she added.

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