What we know so far about Friday’s shooting at a New Hampshire hospital

A New Hampshire hospital security guard was fatally shot Friday afternoon in the lobby of a state psychiatric facility in Concord before a state trooper on the scene shot and killed the suspect, state officials said.

Many details have yet to be confirmed, but state officials say there is no indication of an ongoing threat to the public. Here’s what else we know based on what authorities have shared so far.

What happened

The New Hampshire hospital where the shooting took place primarily cares for people with acute mental illnesses who are involuntarily committed for psychiatric treatment. (Paul Kuno-Booth/NHPR)

Around 3:40 p.m. Friday afternoon, New Hampshire State Police said they received a report of an active shooter at New Hampshire Hospital, the state psychiatric facility in Concord.

Authorities said a gunman entered the hospital’s lobby and — before passing through the facility’s metal detectors — shot Bradley Haas, 63, who worked as a security guard guarding the facility. A state trooper stationed at the hospital shot and killed the suspect at the scene.

“All indications are that this trooper’s actions saved many lives and that his actions were heroic,” New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said.

State officials said Haas received CPR at the scene and was taken to nearby Concord Hospital, less than two miles away, but died as a result of the shooting.

“Now he will forever be remembered as a man who died protecting patients, staff and visitors at New Hampshire Hospital,” Formella said of Haas. “So we can’t say enough how grateful we are to him for his service and words cannot express the condolences we would like to send to his family, friends and loved ones.”

Autopsies completed Saturday concluded that Haas and the gunman died of multiple gunshot wounds. No patients, visitors or other staff appeared to be injured. Formella said several other people were in the lobby at the time of the shooting.

Formella said Haas was not armed at the time of the shooting, but “it would not be typical of this position to be armed working security in the front lobby.”

The state has not yet identified the state trooper who shot the suspect, saying they are withholding that information “pending the completion of a formal interview.” Formella said it is “normal procedure” to have a state trooper stationed at the state mental institution.

What do we know about the suspect?

State officials have identified 33-year-old John Madore as the shooter. They did not specify a possible motive or confirm whether he had a connection to the state mental institution where the shooting took place.

Court records show Madore was ordered transported from the New Hampshire hospital for hearings while facing assault and reckless conduct charges in 2016 and 2017. Those charges were later dismissed, according to documents provided by the New Hampshire court system on Saturday.

Based on available records, it is unclear why Madore was transported from the facility. State officials did not confirm whether he was a patient.

In 2014, Madore was charged with carrying a handgun without a license and resisting arrest. He eventually pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and the weapons charge was filed without a finding, according to court records. He paid a fine and was sentenced on condition of good behavior.

Madore worked briefly as a peer support specialist for Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord in the summer of 2019, a spokeswoman for the organization confirmed Saturday. He is no longer employed by Riverbend, they said.

At a press briefing Saturday, Formella said Madore is transient, having recently been at a hotel on the waterfront and in the greater Concord area.

“In addition, we are still gathering facts and information and will work to gather additional information about Mr. Madore and why he did what he did and what led to this tragic incident yesterday,” Formella said.

New Hampshire State Police Col. Mark Hall said law enforcement who responded to the scene found a U-Haul driving in the parking lot that “appeared suspicious at first.” State police bomb squad investigators later determined the vehicle was not a threat to the public, Hall said, but they did find “several items of concern” inside the truck — “including an AR-style rifle, a tactical vest and several magazines for ammunition.

Madore used a 9mm handgun with extra ammunition in the shooting, Hall said.

State authorities were unable to say whether Madore appeared to be preparing to carry out a mass shooting. They said they are still working to gather information about where the shooting took place, as well as information about the U-Haul and other details that could shed light on the killing.

Officials are asking anyone with information about Madore or the incident to contact the New Hampshire Major Crimes Unit at 603-628-8477.

What do we know about the victim?

Before becoming a state security officer, Haas spent nearly three decades with the Franklin Police Department, including two years as its chief. He retired from the department in 2008, according to news reports.

Haas also served as a military policeman in the US Army. His family wants privacy, according to state officials.

Condolences poured in for Haas and his family from state officials after the shooting.

“Officer Haas was a dedicated member of the safety team who died a hero protecting the patients and staff of a New Hampshire hospital,” state Safety Commissioner Robert Quinn said in a statement released Saturday morning. “Our hearts ache with this loss.”

Gov. Chris Sununu shared his condolences in a social media post Friday night and echoed those sentiments at a press briefing Saturday morning.

“Make no mistake, if it weren’t for the heroism and sacrifice of Bradley Haas, the bravery of the New Hampshire Hospital staff, the steadfast response of the New Hampshire State Police, this tragedy could have been much, much worse,” Sununu said. “New Hampshire owes them all a debt of gratitude.”

What does this mean for the hospital?

New Hampshire Hospital is the state psychiatric hospital located on a sprawling campus of state administrative buildings. It is bordered by sports fields and densely populated residential areas, in the heart of the capital.

The facility primarily cares for people with acute mental illnesses who are involuntarily committed for psychiatric treatment. State records show 152 patients had been admitted to the facility as of Friday, including four who were admitted voluntarily.

As a result of the shooting, the hospital is now closed to visitors but remains open to patients, New Hampshire Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Weaver said.

“Most aspects of hospital operations are normal. However, this event has hindered our visitation opportunities and we are actively working to restore the entrance to visitors,” Weaver said Saturday morning. “Patients are actively communicating with their families by phone and we hope that visits will resume soon.”

The state has I’m setting up patient, family and staff hotline, which can be reached at 603-271-3004. Weaver also stressed that additional support is available for anyone in need at 988, the National Suicide and Crisis Line.

“As I walked through the hospital last night and talked to the staff, I was struck by how calm the environment was and how strong the staff seemed, despite the horrific event that had occurred just hours earlier,” Weaver said. “I have no doubt that the New Hampshire Hospital team’s unwavering commitment to their patients contributed to keeping those in our care safe, both during and after the event.” Today we are reminded of what an exceptional team they are.”

Formella said he has no reason to believe other hospitals in the state are at increased risk after the shooting.

This is not the first time this type of violence has taken place at a health care facility in New Hampshire. In 2017, a man fatally shot his mother in the intensive care unit of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Steve Annen, president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, thanked those who responded to the incident at the state psychiatric facility for their efforts to “minimize further harm and provide care to those in need.”

“Hospitals are not just a place for treatment. They are a sanctuary of compassion, care and hope,” he said in a statement released Saturday morning. “All hospitals in the Granite State are here to support the management and staff of New Hampshire Hospital as they now deal with the inexplicable loss and tragedy that has unfortunately befallen them.”

How others react

Susan Stearns, who heads the mental health advocacy group NAMI-New Hampshire, said Friday night, along with those directly involved, that her thoughts are with hospital staff, first responders and families with loved ones at the hospital.

She said many Granite Staters are likely still dealing with the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, just weeks ago — including the first responders who helped in the aftermath of the shooting.

“We’ve all been through this recently with the situation in Lewiston, which was in our backyards,” she said. “Many of us felt it was quite traumatic, being so close to home. I think obviously it’s going to be traumatizing for people.

Formella, at a Saturday press briefing, also acknowledged that many feel understandably on edge after the recent mass shooting in Maine, but stressed that he has no reason to believe there is an ongoing threat to the public after Friday’s shooting.

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to let our guard down or get complacent,” he said. “We will look into this thoroughly and do what we always do in the law enforcement community, which is to be proactive and remain vigilant to protect the state.”

Although Stearns stressed that there is much we still don’t know about the shooting, she cautioned against linking acts of violence to mental illness, as can often happen after these incidents.

“The vast majority of people with mental illness – which means a fifth of people – are not violent and do not commit such acts,” she said.

Stearns noted that there are resources available 24/7 for anyone who needs help. People can call or text the New Hampshire Hotline at 833-710-6477 for help with a mental health or substance use crisis.

They can also go to NAMI’s website or social media channels for information on additional crisis resources.

This story is a production of the New England News Collaborative. Originally published by New Hampshire Public Radio.

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