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Hospitals placed on lockdown after threatening call

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Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and Lovelace Regional Hospital were both temporarily placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon following a threatening call.

The lockdown –– a measure taken preventing people from entering a building –– happened at about 2 p.m. after Lovelace Regional Hospital received a call during which an individual threatened that there would be a shooting at the hospital, according to Todd Wildermuth, public information officer for the Roswell Police Department.

As a precautionary measure, Eastern New Mexico Medical Center at 405 W. Country Club Road and Lovelace Regional Hospital — at 117 E. 19th St. — were both placed on lockdown and police were dispatched to the scenes.

“So RPD officers have been at both hospitals patrolling and checking things out and launching an investigation to determine where the call came from,” Wildermuth said Tuesday.

The lockdown was lifted at about 2:49 p.m at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center.

Brooke Linthicum, marketing director with Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, declined to comment about the lockdown and directed media inquiries about it to Wildermuth.

In a statement released at 3:24 p.m, Whitney Marquez, communications manager with Lovelace Health System, stated that the lockdown at Lovelace was no longer in place.

“We are working with local authorities to determine the facts related to this incident. The safety of our employees, patients and visitors is our top priority and therefore in an abundance of caution, we were on lockdown,” Marquez said. “The lockdown has been lifted. The emergency room and hospital remains open for patients and their families.”

Wildermuth did not release any new information on the incident or ensuing investigation Tuesday before press time.

The call to Lovelace is the second call threatening violence at a location in Roswell in the last week.

The Walmart Supercenter at 4500 N. Main St. was evacuated for about 20 minutes Aug. 6, after a store manager came across a post on the social media platform Snapchat that indicated individuals wishing to do harm to shoppers were en route to the store.

Shoppers and employees were then evacuated and officers with the RPD and Chaves County sheriff’s deputies investigated the store, but did not find any threats.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.