Earlier today, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford went into lockdown after a phone call was received warning of an active shooter threat. Although New Bedford Police later stated there was “no credible threat or danger,” it was still a traumatic experience for the staff, patients and visitors at the hospital.

New Bedford resident Lorrie Bailey was at St. Luke’s for an x-ray when an announcement came over the intercom. She posted her experience onto her Facebook page, and gave us permission to share the harrowing details and the photos from the incident.

“Everyone was instructed to seek shelter, there was an active shooter,” she said. “I was in lockdown with seven other staff personnel for 40 minutes, which in all honesty felt longer, in a small office.”

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Bailey said the door was locked and barricaded with metal filing cabinets, and that the lights were turned off and the blinds were closed.

“The silence was deafening,” she said.

Courtesy Lorrie Bailey
Courtesy Lorrie Bailey

Bailey said that after a second intercom message about 15 minutes later repeating the instructions to remain in shelter, the staff in the room began calling and texting their loved ones.

“I must admit, it got real when a staff (member) called someone and said, ‘I just want you to know that we are in lockdown because of an active shooter and if anything happens to me, please tell the kids I love them!’” she said. “That shook me hard and brought me to tears.”

She said one woman checked the windows to see if it would be possible to get out that way if necessary. Meanwhile, Bailey said all she could think about was her daughter and son-in-law.

“It was so hard to text them both, explain to them what was going (on), telling them not to worry and most importantly, I love you,” she said.

Courtesy Lorrie Bailey
Courtesy Lorrie Bailey

Once the scene was cleared, Bailey remained behind to have her x-ray and she said she asked the tech if they knew anything more, and they told her that they didn’t. Bailey said the staff members that were barricaded in the office with her did not know, either.

Following the incident, Southcoast Health issued a statement from Craig Forcina, Director of Public Safety & Emergency Management.

"Earlier this afternoon an active shooter threat for St. Luke’s Hospital was received over the phone. The safety of our patients and staff is always our top priority, and our public safety team immediately contacted the New Bedford Police Department to assist with implementing our safety response procedure and determine the credibility of the threat,” he said.

“The situation was declared all clear at approximately 4 p.m. We are grateful for the efforts of the Southcoast Health Public Safety Department and local authorities who will continue to investigate this matter. We also thank our amazing staff who care for and serve our community with such distinction."

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