Rumor of shooter at Hannibal Regional Hospital unfounded; woman arrested without gun

Posted: Dec. 19, 2016 12:13 pm

The CEO of Hannibal Regional Healthcare System called rumors of a person with a gun at Hannibal Regional Hospital Monday morning unfounded.

"There never was an active shooter. There never was a gun displayed," Todd Ahrens said. "It was a situation where precautions were taken and it escalated."

Ahrens said a situation developed shortly after 10 a.m. near the entrance to the Emergency Room. Around 10:22 a.m., Hannibal Police Department officers were called to the canopy outside the building in reference to an adult female seated in a parked car. According to a press release from HPD, the female had stated she had a gun and threatened to shoot hospital employees as they approached the vehicle. Officers secured the area, but did not find a firearm in the car or on the woman.

She was taken into custody without incident. Her identity was not immediately available.

The entire situation was resolved in about 20 minutes, Ahrens said. The police presence at the hospital with lights flashing fueled social media speculation, Ahrens continued. He stressed there was never any danger to employees or patients at the hospital.

"When information is disseminated on social, we have a bigger issue than what happened," he said.

He sent an email to hospital staff when the issue was resolved before 11 a.m. explaining that there was no danger to the hospital.

"We have folks that come to us with mental issues and other things that can sometimes cause a situation like this to escalate," Ahrens said.

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