LEBANON, N.H. >> A Rhode Island man accused of fatally shooting his mother in the intensive care unit of New Hampshire’s largest hospital was set to be arraigned Wednesday on murder charges.
Travis Frink signed into the visitor center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon this afternoon and went to the intensive care unit, authorities said. Soon after, Lebanon police received an emergency call reporting shots had been fired there.
Attorney General Gordon MacDonald identified the shooting victim as Frink’s 70-year-old mother, Pamela Ferriere, of Groton. He said the 49-year-old Frink, of Warwick, Rhode Island, went to the hospital with the intent of killing her.
“The facts gathered to this point reveal that the purpose of Mr. Frink’s visit to the hospital today was to kill his mother,” MacDonald said.
He said more than one shot had been fired but no other patients, visitors or workers were physically injured.
Frink was detained as he tried to leave the grounds of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, authorities said. He was in custody and couldn’t be reached for comment. No possible motive for the shooting was released.
Authorities released very little information about Frink, although a 2013 story in the Providence Journal said that police suspected that alcohol played a role in the death of his wife and son, whose bodies were found in a running car at an apartment complex.
Today’s shooting sparked panic at the hospital as employees and patients were evacuated into the parking lot. People were told to avoid the area around the hospital, and traffic was stopped on a route leading to it.
WCAX-TV reported that an employee said all workers received an email from the hospital about a “code silver,” indicating a violent situation is unfolding, telling them to get out if possible or to shelter in place.
Susan Flynn, who was about to have surgery at the hospital, told WCAX she and her husband escaped to a patio soon after the shooting.
“We were sitting in this patio area and two police came running out with guns and those shields that they wear and said, ‘Run, run!’ So we ran out of there as fast as we could and on to next location and kept moving and moving to different locations until they put us in a secure location,” Flynn said.
Joanne Conroy, the president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, praised her staff for its response and said everyone had taken part in several active-shooter trainings in the past.
“Today was an incredibly stressful day and a tragic day for the affected family,” she said. “We had the best outcome from this. Nobody else was hurt, and that is all we can ask for.”