Patients, visitors, and staff at the hospital experienced a brief lockdown Tuesday evening when an alarming call threatening an impending shooter was made.
A staff member from The Times who was present at the hospital during the activity described seeing hospital employees exit the building, and Oak Bluffs Police temporarily prohibiting entry.
Oak Bluffs Police Chief Jon Searle told The Times that an unnamed person had informed law enforcement after they heard threatening statements from an elderly female Chilmark resident who allegedly was planning on committing gun violence. Searle said the woman had made various “irrational” threats, regarding the hospital and community services, but was not believed to have the means to carry them out. Searle said the hospital handled the situation well, strictly following protocol.
Around 5:30 pm, Oak Bluffs Police issued through the Island’s general broadcast communication a request to all Island police departments to be on the lookout for the Chilmark woman who had initially stated she was located at the town’s dump, Chilmark Police Chief Jonathan Klaren told The Times. Klaren stated that Chilmark officers eventually located the woman upon her return to her residence, which was being monitored. The town staged an ambulance nearby. Klaren said the 71-year-old, initially reluctant, was cooperative as she was subsequently safely transported to the hospital by Tri-Town EMS for a psychiatric evaluation.
Chilmark Police are now in the process of making arrangements for the woman’s pets, and are in touch with the woman’s family to rehouse them.
No other information is available at this time.