Ex-Plattsburgh Hospital Employee Who Made Threats Arrested with Loaded Gun

The suspect’s brother told police he had recently been fired from his job at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and made threats to kill former co-workers.

Ex-Plattsburgh Hospital Employee Who Made Threats Arrested with Loaded Gun

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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — A former Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) employee was arrested last week after police say he made threats against former co-workers.

On Feb. 12, Plattsburgh City Police (PCP) received a tip from a concerned relative who said 52-year-old Robert Thibodeau had recently been fired from his job as a senior electrician and made comments about returning to the hospital to harm people, NBC5 reports. The relative said he could be heard on the call loading what sounded like a shotgun before he made a threat about killing members of the CVPH management team.

Police said the caller, later identified as Thibodeau’s brother, provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle, which was then broadcast to patrol officers, according to Press-Republican. While speaking to police, the brother followed Thibodeau in his vehicle and gave updates on his location.

PCP officers, New York State Police, and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department stopped Thibodeau as he was heading north toward CVPH. Police said Thibodeau initially ignored commands to exit the vehicle but was subsequently taken into custody without further incident.

A search of Thibodeau’s vehicle found a loaded 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun with two 10-round magazines and an additional box of ammunition.

“I cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of that phone call,” said Clinton County Sheriff Dave Favro. “That individual, in my opinion, is ruled a hero; it’s not easy to do.”

Thibodeau has been charged with one count of second-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm, a Class C felony. He was arraigned at Plattsburgh City Court and was remanded to Clinton County Jail on $250,000 bail.

CVPH President Michelle LeBeau wrote in a statement that she believes Thibodeau intended to use the weapon at CVPH, noting the incident highlights “the complexities of providing health care in a safe environment.”

The hospital, which is part of the University of Vermont (UVM) Health Network, is contemplating adopting security measures implemented at UVM Medical Center in Burlington, including clear bag policies, bans on backpacks, and the installation of metal detectors.

“As a Network, we’ve highlighted the issue of workplace violence in health care on a national level and this sobering incident brings that issue even closer to home,” LeBeau wrote. “While there are no easy fixes, we will continue to plan, educate, and implement change to support each other in this new reality.”

CVPH is located several blocks from SUNY Plattsburgh. The university sent an emergency alert email to the campus community after the incident, nothing there was no danger to the public and the suspect was in custody.

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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