El Centro Regional Medical Center went on lockdown for about an hour Tuesday afternoon when an individual known to hospital officials called in a shooting threat, according to Dr. Adolphe Edward, chief executive officer of the hospital.
There was no active shooter situation, Edward said, and the lockdown was lifted about an hour — around 2 p.m. — after the threat was made.
El Centro police quickly arrived on scene in response to a report of a threatening phone call, officials said.
Officers on scene subsequently determined that no crime was committed, as no credible threat had been made against the hospital or its staff, said Executive Cmdr. Alvaro Ramirez.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the caller threatened the hospital, as Edward said, or the hospital’s wound care center at 1310 S. Imperial Ave., which is what the police scanner activity indicated.
“We had a threat made to us from a known individual who happened to be a PTSD patient,” Edward said. “So, we took the threat extremely seriously. We wanted to protect our patients, protect the community visiting our patients and protect our staff.”
The CEO said the caller identified himself to the hospital’s call center, so hospital officials had a name and a photo to provide.
Edward said the suspect made a similar threat against the hospital about a year ago, and that he is known to local police, as well as Imperial County Behavioral Health Department staff.
Edward added, “He’s well known to make such threats to health care.”
Scanner traffic reported that the individual did have a semi-automatic pistol registered in his name.
“I want to thank the El Centro Police Department, the chief of police and the city manager for responding as fast as they did. We really can’t do it without them,” Edward said.