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NH Hospital shooting prompts recommendations for security upgrades at state buildings

Police officers outside New Hampshire Hospital after a gunman opened fire and killed a security officer, Nov. 17, 2023.
AP
Police officers outside New Hampshire Hospital after a gunman opened fire and killed a security officer, Nov. 17, 2023.

The New Hampshire Department of Safety has recommended several security improvements at all state buildings in response to the Nov. 17 shooting at the New Hampshire Hospital that killed a security officer.

At the psychiatric hospital, those measures include upgrading the existing weapon detection system to scan staff, visitors, and patients for guns, knives, and other prohibited items; enhancing the emergency notification system; and requiring all staff to enter through a separate security checkpoint.

In addition, the department suggests barriers be placed in front of the hospital to prevent vehicles from getting too close; increasing surveillance; and providing full building access cards and floor plans to state police response teams as well as Concord’s police and fire departments.

Beyond the hospital, safety officials recommend security assessments for all state facilities; more active-shooter trainings for staff; and hiring a security expert to identify additional improvements.

Gov. Chris Sununu asked for the assessment and recommendations after hospital security officer Bradley Haas, 63, was fatally shotin the hospital lobby as he began his shift. Haas was unarmed per hospital policy.

The police identified 33-year-old John Madore, a former patient who was subject to an involuntary emergency admission to the hospitalfollowing a 2016 arrest, as the shooter. He shot Haas with a handgun and had an AR-style rifle and several magazines of ammunition in a vehicle outside the hospital, according to the authorities.

A state trooper assigned to the hospital killed Madore, the police said.

“Many employees have been shaken by this incident and in every setting, their safety is our number one priority,” Sununu wrote in his request for a security review. “Providing a safe working environment is a job that is never done, however we are moving forward with all of the department’s recommendations and will continue to assess additional necessary steps moving forward on an ongoing basis.”

New Hampshire Bulletin is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. New Hampshire Bulletin maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Dana Wormald for questions: info@newhampshirebulletin.com. Follow New Hampshire Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter.

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