Threatening call puts Raleigh medical offices on lockdown
Posted July 11
Raleigh, N.C. — A medical office building next to Rex Hospital was locked down for about two hours Friday morning after a threat was phoned in to one of the offices, authorities said.
The call was received at about 9:20 a.m. at an office in the building at 4414 Lake Boone Trail. Rex Hospital was locked down for about a half hour and police officers were deployed at each entrance to the hospital.
"There was an individual who made some threats via the phone, and we were concerned that he would show up," Rex Healthcare Chief Operating Officer Steve Burriss said. "It was concerning enough that it warranted a response."
Burriss said he wasn't aware whether the threat was made against a physician or worker at the medical office building, but he said a search of the campus by police and security officers didn't reveal any suspicious activity.
After a while, police allowed people to leave the medical office building, but access remained restricted. The lockdown was lifted before noon.
Julia Grathwol was working on the fourth floor of the office building when a police officer showed up to announce the lockdown.
"He ran in the office, and he just said, 'Lock all your doors. Don't let anybody in or out,' and what's what we did," Grathwol said. "The patients were just waiting for a good hour and a half."
It was a little scary, not knowing what was going on, but everyone remained calm, she said. Many appointments were canceled, she said, and employees passed the time waving by the windows.
Rex employees took part in an active-shooter drill only a month ago, Burriss said.
"Certainly, in this day in age, it's prudent to take these sorts of threats seriously," he said.