Active-shooter scare at Memorial Hospital turns out to be unfounded

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)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – An active-shooter scare Tuesday at Memorial Hospital in Bakersfield turned out to be unfounded.

“There was no evidence of a shooting that was located as we started to clear (the hospital) for public safety,” police Sgt. Brian Holcombe said.

Emergency personnel swarmed the hospital in the early afternoon after getting a call of a possible shooter. Holcombe said they are “short on details” regarding the call’s source, though he said it came from somewhere within the hospital.

Holcombe said the reporting party might’ve thought they heard gunshots.

The facility’s chief operating officer, Ken Keller, also said the origin of the call will be investigated by hospital officials.

Holcombe said officers were on scene within about two minutes. The hospital off 34th Street and two nearby schools, Stella Hills and Longfellow, were placed on lockdown.

The hospital lockdown was lifted shortly after 4 p.m., a little less than three hours after the situation began.

Keller praised his staff for following active-shooter protocols.

“We’re very pleased to indicate that all of our team members, our patients and families are all safe and secure, and we’re very pleased that, although this was a false alarm, to an extent, we’re very pleased that nobody was injured, and everything happened OK,” Keller said.

Keller also said hospital operations continued uninterrupted, with two exceptions: the emergency room closed and ambulance traffic was diverted.

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