‘Active shooter’ alert at VA was a false alarm

The Palo Alto VA hospital

Daily Post Staff Writer

The VA hospital in Palo Alto was briefly locked down yesterday morning after federal police received a false report of an active shooter, according to hospital officials.

Around 10:10 a.m., the hospital police received a call from someone who said they thought they had heard shots fired on campus at 3801 Miranda Ave.

The federal police officers, of whom about 80% are veterans, locked down the hospital for 48 minutes, ordering everyone in the building to lock themselves in offices.

By 10:58 a.m., the officers gave the all-clear and the hospital resumed normal operations.

“They’re still investigating and tracing that down, what happened,” VA Palo Alto Healthcare System spokesman Michael Hill-Jackson told the Post. “We’re just happy that there wasn’t an active shooter.”

The hospital system’s campuses in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Livermore all have federal police officers. The system’s clinics, including the Fremont, Capitola and Monterey locations, have security guards.

“These guys are well-trained, especially on active shooter and different situations like that. We’re really lucky to have them on the campus to sweep and clear that out so fast,” Hill-Jackson said.

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