The guard at a psychiatric hospital was killed protecting others, authorities said. The tragedy is one of several fatal shootings at hospitals over the past year.
Bradley Haas had spent much of his adult life in law enforcement.
He worked as a police officer for 26 years and rose to become police chief in the small town of Franklin, New Hampshire, a community near Concord. Haas retired in 2008.
But Haas, 63, was fatally shot while working as a security guard at New Hampshire Hospital, a state-operated acute psychiatric hospital in Concord, authorities said.
Authorities said a suspect shot Haas Friday afternoon inside the hospital. The suspect was shot and killed by a state trooper assigned to the hospital, New Hampshire State Police Col. Mark Hall said at a news conference. None of the patients in the hospital were injured, and no other staff were hurt, officials said.
New Hampshire Department of Safety Commissioner Robert L. Quinn hailed Haas as a hero and extended his condolences to his loved ones.
“Officer Haas was a dedicated member of the safety team who died a hero protecting the patients and staff of New Hampshire Hospital,” Quinn said in a statement Saturday. “Our hearts ache at this loss.”
The shooting was contained to the lobby of the hospital, Hall said. Haas was given CPR on site and transported to Concord Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Hall said.
The suspect was identified as John Madore, WCVB-TV reported. Hall said the suspect used a 9 mm handgun.
New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said Haas helped protect others, WMUR-TV reported. "Without the actions of Bradley Haas and without the actions of the trooper on scene, this could have been a lot worse," Formella said.
At a news conference after the shooting Friday, New Hampshire Health Commissioner Lori Weaver said, “We are shocked and saddened by today’s incident at New Hampshire Hospital … Our hearts go out to the family of the victim, as well as our colleagues who have been impacted.”
Weaver said teams were providing support to patients and staff.
“This is a difficult and unimaginable day for our employees and our community,” Weaver said.
The Franklin Township police department said Saturday its officers would wear mourning bands in his memory, and its flag would fly at half staff. After Haas retired as police chief, he “continued to dedicate his time to the NH community by serving as a security officer helping and protecting those at the NH State Hospital,” the department said in a post on Facebook.
Hospital executives, doctors, and nurses say they have seen far too much violence in their facilities. The New Hampshire tragedy joins a list of other fatal shootings at hospitals and healthcare facilities in recent months.
Bobby Smallwood, a security guard, was shot and killed at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland, Oregon on July 22. After the shooting, Legacy Health began installing metal detectors and took other steps to improve security.
Also in July, Ben Mauck, a hand surgeon, was fatally shot in an orthopedic clinic outside Memphis, Tenn. A police officer was shot and killed in the emergency department of a hospital in southern Indiana in July. A CDC employee was fatally shot at a medical complex owned by Northside Hospital in Atlanta in May, and four others were wounded in the shooting.
In October 2022, a nurse and a social worker were fatally shot at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
More hospitals are taking steps such as installing metal detectors or additional cameras, Paul Sarnese, a security consultant, told Chief Healthcare Executive® in July. Sarnese said healthcare leaders should be talking to their employees to get their perspective on improving safety.
Doctors and nurses say they regularly endure assaults and abusive behavior from patients and family members, and they say it has worsened in the pandemic.
After the assault of a nurse in September, the Lifespan health system launched a public campaign to draw attention to violence in hospitals and healthcare facilities. The health system invited the public to sign an online petition to show their support for a policy of zero tolerance for violence targeting healthcare workers.