An armed suspect entered the lobby of a psychiatric hospital in New Hampshire, United States, on Friday and opened fire, killing one person. A police officer, who was on security duty at the facility, shot and killed the suspect and no one else, including the police officer, was confronted or injured in the incident, Reuters report. The incident took place at about 3:30 PM at the New Hampshire State Hospital in Concord, the state capital.
“A state trooper assigned to the hospital and in close proximity immediately engaged, shot, and killed the suspect,” state police Colonel Mark Hall told a news conference, adding that the attack was confined to the hospital lobby.
However, Hall declined to provide any information about the shooter or the slain victim, stating that investigators were still trying to identify the assailant. “There is no threat to the public, and there was no threat to the patients or staff at the hospital,” he added. Meanwhile, Lori Weaver, commissioner for New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services, stated that all patients and staff at the hospital were safe.
Hall further said that bomb squad officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle on the hospital grounds but did not provide further details. According to Reuters, Hall informed the media that additional officers were at the scene within minutes, as a police academy graduation was taking place on the surrounding campus at the time.
New Hampshire Hospital is a 185-bed inpatient facility that treats patients with acute mental illness. All visitors must enter through metal detectors, and a police officer is always on duty. It is situated on the grounds of a 120-acre office complex that is home to several state agencies, including Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and the Public Utility Commission.
The US has been witnessing an alarming rise in shooting incidents, especially in the last one year.