Bakersfield police arrest man for 2 false active-shooter reports at hospitals

Authorities are on scene Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, after a call of a possible active shooter at Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif. Police said the call was unfounded. No shots were fired. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Police have arrested a man for allegedly making false reports of active shooters twice in recent months: Tuesday at Memorial Hospital and Aug. 1 at Mercy Southwest Hospital.

Police said 46-year-old Mario Thompson was detained Tuesday after police swarmed Memorial Hospital on what ultimately turned out to be a false report.

Police said Thompson lied to hospital staff and police, claiming, at times, to be either hospital security or a city police officer. Thompson was found Tuesday wearing a security badge and "acting suspiciously," inserting himself into the active investigation, police said.

Thompson is neither a hospital employee nor a law enforcement officer, according to police.

Thompson was also found with a pellet gun, pepper spray and prescription pills - none of which he's allowed to have. Thompson is prohibited from carrying pepper spray because he's a felon, and he was illegally in possession of the medication and pellet gun, police said.

In addition to arresting Thompson on a variety of charges for Tuesday's incident at Memorial Hospital on 34th Street, police determined he's behind this summer's active-shooter report at Mercy Southwest on Old River Road.

Both calls resulted in large police responses and hospital lockdowns, but no shots were actually fired in either incident.

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