Woman killed, son in custody after Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center shooting

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 9/13/17 4:05am


Police blocked traffic to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, forming a perimeter around the hospital.

by Peter Charalambous / The Dartmouth

A 70-year-old woman was killed at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon Tuesday afternoon, prompting an active shooter alert and the evacuation of the hospital. A suspect, the victim’s son, was taken into custody that afternoon and is expected to be arraigned Wednesday morning. The investigation is ongoing, and the hospital has returned to normal operations.

No other patients, visitors or staff were physically injured as a result of the incident.

The suspect, Travis Frink, 49, arrived at DHMC at 1:15 p.m. and signed in at the visitors desk. He then went to the fourth floor of the intensive care unit, where the victim, Pamela Ferriere, 70, was a patient. At 1:24 p.m., Lebanon police received a 911 call reporting shots fired at DHMC.

“The facts gathered to this point reveal that the purpose of Mr. Frink’s visit to the hospital today was to kill his mother,” New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald ’83 said in a press conference Tuesday evening.

A “Code Silver” alert was issued over the hospital intercom, urging patients and employees to evacuate the building. In a staff-wide email Tuesday afternoon, DHMC said that an active shooter was believed to still be in the building but was “contained.” The email said police were looking for a 6’1” male with salt and pepper blonde hair, wearing a red camouflage shirt.

About an hour after the shooting, the suspect was apprehended “without incident” by Lebanon and Canaan police as he attempted to leave the grounds of the hospital, MacDonald said.

Following an extensive sweep of the DHMC campus by law enforcement, an “All Clear” was issued at DHMC at 5:45 p.m., returning the facility to normal operations.

The crime scene is still being investigated, MacDonald said, adding that more than one shot was fired during the incident. Frink was charged with first degree murder and will be arraigned Wednesday morning at Grafton County Superior Court.

The New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit is continuing to investigate and is requesting information about the suspect’s whereabouts prior to the incident.

Local schools in the area were temporarily locked down Tuesday afternoon. The main Dartmouth College campus was not locked down and classes were not canceled.

At the Tuesday evening press conference, DHMC chief executive officer and President Joanna Conray said that DHMC staff have participated in active shooter training and drills, which helped the evacuation run smoothly.

“Today was an incredibly stressful day, and a tragic day for the affected family ... we had the best outcome possible, however,” she said.

Head of New Hampshire State Police Col. Chris Wagner lauded the preparedness of first responders and law enforcement personnel at the press conference.

“These are the most challenging times for first responders,” he said.

Interim director of Safety and Security Keysi Montás sent four campus wide emails updating students, faculty and staff as the incident developed.