Oklahoma Hospital Evacuated After Receiving Bomb Threat

The bomb threat referred to a local newspaper’s audio recording of four McCurtain County officials making violent, racist remarks.

Oklahoma Hospital Evacuated After Receiving Bomb Threat

Photo via Adobe, by Marzky Ragsac Jr.

McCurtain County, Oklahoma – A bomb threat prompted McCurtain County Memorial Hospital to evacuate April 18.

An unknown person called in the threat the afternoon of April 18, claiming a bomb was placed in the facility the evening of April 17, reports MyParisTexas.com. That person threatened to detonate the bomb unless hospital administrators publicly denounced four county government officials who had previously made violent racist remarks in an audio recording.

The hospital responded by immediately evacuating everyone on campus and notifying local law enforcement. Patients were taken to other hospitals in the area or to an off-site location. The hospital remained in lockdown the following day, and all outpatient services and access were cancelled or limited, reports KSLA.

After law enforcement searched the hospital, no bomb was found. All services and operations returned to normal on April 20. However, the hospital bolstered campus security by requiring everyone to enter and exit via the emergency room waiting entrance. Bags, backpacks, and purses were also not allowed in the hospital for any reason. Outpatients were required to provide a photo ID to ER staff. Additionally, visitors were not allowed in the ER, unless the patient was a minor. Patients were only allowed to have two visitors per day. The hospital café also was closed for the week.

The bomb threat referred to a local newspaper’s March 6 audio recording of four McCurtain County officials talking about killing and burying two local reporters, and then complaining they could no longer lynch Black people, reports the Associated Press. The individuals on the recording included McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy, Investigator Alicia Manning, District 2 Commissioner Mark Jennings, and Jail Administrator Larry Hendrix.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt denounced the remarks, calling for the case to be investigated and for Clardy to be removed from office. Jennings submitted his resignation April 19, reports CNN.

According to a statement from McCurtain County Memorial Hospital:

“The hospital administration wishes to make it extremely clear: Just as Governor Stitt stated in his recent public statement, the behavior exhibited by the county commissioner, sheriff, jail administrator and investigator on a recording released to the public over the weekend is unacceptable and has no place in our town or anywhere else. The hospital has been providing healthcare to the residents of this great county for more than 50 years and, while we have worked with our county government on many projects in an effort to improve the health care of the resident of and visitors to McCurtain County, the events as of late are by no means supported by nor condoned by the hospital. As a hospital, we only desire to be here for our community and meet our patients’ medical needs. McCurtain County is a great place to live and work, as well as raise families.”

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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