LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A possible active shooter situation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Thursday, Oct. 25 ended without a gun being found.
Authorities said a man was taken into custody on the sixth floor, but he was released after no gun was found.
Lt. Kevin Kirkum, with Lake Charles Police, said witnesses said they saw the suspect walking in with a blanket believed to have had a gun in it.
Edgar Sanchez says he is the man who authorities were looking for, but says he believes the cops were called on him because of racism. Hear more from him HERE.
On a statement on LCPD’s Facebook, around 10:10 a.m., LCPD received a call in reference to a man with a gun near the gift shop of LC Memorial Hospital. The suspect was seen entering the sixth floor. Officers evacuated several floors while a search was conducted. LCPD took the suspect into custody without incident around 11:15 a.m., says Kim Myers with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Sanchez, who was at the hospital because his daughter had surgery, said he was at the gift shop to buy candy, balloons and a teddy bear. He claims, though, that the workers refused to provide service for him and he left after not being able to purchase the items.
Lake Charles Memorial Health System President and CEO Larry Graham released a statement, disputing the claims that race played a factor:
SWAT teams from the Lake Charles Police Department and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to the situation.
The Sheriff’s Office blocked Oak Park Boulevard in front of the hospital.
“It’s better to report those things and be wrong than to assume you’re wrong and it be wrong and people get hurt," said Deputy Chief Mark Kraus, with Lake Charles police. “We applaud the staff at Memorial Hospital who reported it.”
“Unfortunately, there’s a big police presence out here that stopped a lot of traffic. We got in the way of a lot of people in the hospital, but at the end of the day, right now, everybody is safe. We reacted to the report and everything is OK.”
Several CPSB schools were placed on lockdown during the incident.