WARRENSBURG, Mo. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol said a man who threatened a Warrensburg hospital is in custody and will be held for at least a day.
According to MSHP Trooper Bill Lowe, troopers, deputies and officers worked to evacuate Western Missouri Medical Center following the threat of an active shooter Friday morning.
Lowe said the suspect was never on the hospital’s property or inside the hospital Friday.
“There was nobody on the premises with a long gun. There was no one in the hospital with a long gun,” Lowe said.
There is now an investigation underway to determine exactly how the threat was made. Lowe said troopers would look at social media and other angles while investigating the threat.
The CEO of the hospital described what happened this morning as “upsetting,” but said she’s happy with the way everything ended.
She also shed some light about how the threat happened.
“This morning we were alerted that there had been a threat of a previous patient that had made some threats and bought a assault rifle. We immediately went on lockdown as soon as we heard the threat. Then we also heard that somebody was noticed in the building, like right after we went on lockdown. Lockdown procedures continued, all law enforcement descended on the facility and started sweeping the hospital. Eventually when they secured the hospital, they started evacuating,” Darinda Dick, CEO of Western Medical Center, said.
Investigators are also looking into messages on the hospital’s social media saying there was an active shooter at the hospital.
“That’s something we’re gonna have to look through and figure out who made the calls, how they made the calls, how they came in, what information we received,” Lowe said.
Evacuating the hospital was a major undertaking and took more than two hours to complete according to Lowe.
“It’s a huge challenge because you have a significant amount of rooms, you have a significant amount of rooms that are locked to anybody to get in and access, so that poses a challenge. And the initial challenge of anybody who’s in there and is ill, we want to make sure that they’re safe and they’re not compromised by us going in,” Lowe said.
While it’s a huge task, Lowe said it’s something they train for and responded to this threat immediately.
This is an developing story, and FOX4 has a crew on the way. Check back for more updates.