Police respond to false report of active shooter at Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic


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Nine police departments responded to reports of an active shooter situation at the Hackensack Meridian Carrier Clinic on Somerset County Route 601 on April 16.

After an investigation, the reports proved to be unfounded, according to the Montgomery Township Police Department.

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Montgomery police received a panic alarm from the Carrier Clinic, which offers inpatient psychiatric treatment and treatment and rehabilitation for substance abuse, at 7:07 p.m.

Within minutes, Somerset County Communications dispatchers received a call from the Carrier Clinic, stating that there were reports of gunshots being fired on the campus, police said.

Montgomery Township police officers, aided by police officers from neighboring towns, searched the campus for potential threats. They were unable to find evidence of anyone using a gun at the Carrier Clinic, police said.

The initial calls to the Montgomery Township Police Department and the Somerset County Communications emergency dispatch center about the active shooter situation were inaccurate, and likely were the result of miscommunication, police said.

During their search of the campus, however, police encountered a man who was experiencing a severe mental health crisis and allegedly threatened violence. He was extremely agitated, aggressive and hostile, police said.

A woman, who accompanied the man, physically restrained him while police worked to de-escalate the situation. Officers worked with Carrier Clinic staff to help the man get voluntary treatment.

The Montgomery Township Police Department was aided by police departments from Princeton and Branchburg, Bridgewater, Franklin, Hillsborough and Green Brook townships, Manville and Raritan boroughs, and the City of Somerville.

The Montgomery EMS (emergency medical service) also responded.

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