Courts & Corrections

UPDATED: Man shoots 70-year-old mother in Dartmouth-Hitchcock intensive care unit

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Hanover EMT Jeremy LaBombard helps a patient who was evacuated Tuesday due to an active-shooter lockdown at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Photo by James M. Patterson/Valley News

Editor’s note: This story is by Valley News staffer Tim Camerato. It was updated from the newspaper’s website at 4:30 p.m. and again at 10:08 p.m.

LEBANON — One person was killed in a shooting at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center this afternoon and the alleged shooter, a member of the victim’s family, is in custody.

Authorities have identified the suspect as Travis Frink, 49, of Warwick, R.I.

Police say he shot his and killed his mother, Pamela Ferriere, 70, of Groton, N.H., in one of the medical center’s intensive care units.

New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said the incident is over and there is no longer any threat to the public.

At an earlier news conference, John P. Kacavas, DHMC’s chief legal officer, said the medical center’s emergency department and intensive care units were back open.

The suspect was apprehended at 2:57 p.m., police said. 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 actively sweeping the hospital campus, including checking under and around cars in the parking lot. 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 4 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 Ford 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. Lebanon High School, Hanover Street Elementary School, the Carter Community Building Association and portions of the Centerra Resource Park also were 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 the incident. Vermont State Police are assisting with the investigation, according to a news release.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald speaks at a news conference in Lebanon, about an active shooter incident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on Tuesday. From left are Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello, John Kacavas, chief legal officer for Dartmouth-Hitchcock, MacDonald, Ed Merrens, chief medical officer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and New Hampshire State Police Col. Christopher Wagner. Photo by Jennifer Hauck/Valley News
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