• Police seek motive for man's alleged murder of mother in NH hospital

    By: Joy Dumandan

    Updated:

    LEBANON, N.H. - The Rhode Island man accused of walking into New Hampshire’s largest hospital and shooting his mother has pleaded not guilty.

    It happened yesterday at the Dartmouth Hitchcock medical center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

    Police say Travis Frink, 49, of Warwick, walked into the ICU and shot his 70-year-old mother.

    As soon as the shots rang out, the hospital went into lockdown. Patients and doctors hid in rooms.

    “They came on the loud speaker code silver. They had us all go into these rooms that were locked and then they had told evacuate the hospital,” a patient named Crystal told Boston 25 News.

    Investigators say they don’t know what Frink’s motive was in this case.

    Frink signed into the visitor center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon on Tuesday afternoon and went to the intensive care unit, authorities said. Soon after, Lebanon police received an emergency call reporting shots had been fired there.

    Attorney General Gordon MacDonald identified the shooting victim as Frink's 70-year-old mother, Pamela Ferriere, of Groton.

    "The facts gathered to this point reveal that the purpose of Mr. Frink's visit to the hospital today was to kill his mother," MacDonald said.

    He said more than one shot had been fired but no other patients, visitors or workers were physically injured.

    Frink was detained as he tried to leave the grounds of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, authorities said. He was in custody and couldn't be reached for comment. No possible motive for the shooting was released.

    Authorities released very little information about Frink, although a 2013 story in the Providence Journal said that police suspected that alcohol played a role in the death of his wife and son, whose bodies were found in a running car at an apartment complex.

    Tuesday's shooting sparked panic at the hospital as employees and patients were evacuated into the parking lot. People were told to avoid the area around the hospital, and traffic was stopped on a route leading to it.

    WCAX-TV reported that an employee said all workers received an email from the hospital about a "code silver," indicating a violent situation is unfolding, telling them to get out if possible or to shelter in place.

    Susan Flynn, who was about to have surgery at the hospital, told WCAX she and her husband escaped to a patio soon after the shooting.

    "We were sitting in this patio area and two police came running out with guns and those shields that they wear and said, 'Run, run!' So we ran out of there as fast as we could and on to next location and kept moving and moving to different locations until they put us in a secure location," Flynn said.

    Joanne Conroy, the president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, praised her staff for its response and said everyone had taken part in several active-shooter trainings in the past.

    "Today was an incredibly stressful day and a tragic day for the affected family," she said. "We had the best outcome from this. Nobody else was hurt, and that is all we can ask for."

    They are asking anyone who saw Frink in the days leading up to the shooting to please call them.

    MORE: 70-year-old woman murdered in NH hospital, suspect is family member

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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