Umbrella Mistaken for Rifle in Hospital Lockdown


Fort Smith Police lifted a lockdown at Sparks Hospital Tuesday morning after reports of a man inside with a rifle.

After police sweeped the building, and looked at surveillance video, the northwest hospital center reopened nearly 30 minutes later.

An investigation determined the alleged “gunman” was actually an employee carrying a long black umbrella.

Sgt. Harris said the department received the 911 call just before 7 a.m. from an alarmed desk employee.

Dozens of officers responded within minutes.

Sparks Hospital has their own procedure, which the hospital followed, Sgt. Harris said.

“In this situation, everyone involved responded exactly according to Sparks’ emergency operations plan,” said Donna Bragg, Sparks’ Marketing & Commuications Director. “The plan is designed to protect the safety of patients, visitors and associates.”

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