LEBANON, N.H. (WPRI) — A Warwick man accused of shooting and killing his mother at New Hampshire’s largest hospital Tuesday was ordered held without bail following his arraignment on a first-degree murder charge Wednesday.
Travis Frink, 48, is accused of fatally shooting his mother, 70-year-old Pamela Ferriere of Groton, New Hampshire, while she was lying in a hospital bed in the Intensive Care Unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
According to the New Hampshire Attorney General, Frink entered the hospital about 1:15 p.m., signed in at the visitor’s desk, and went to the ICU on the fourth floor. By 1:24 p.m., Lebanon police received a 911 call of shots fired at the hospital.
According to a court affidavit obtained by Eyewitness News, the victim’s husband Robert was in the room with his wife when Frink arrived, asking his stepfather if he could have some time alone with his mother.
The document stated that after checking with his wife, Ferriere left the room. He then heard Pamela Ferriere shout or scream something.
“Robert Ferriere turned and looked into the room and saw Frink pointing a gun at Pam and fired several shots,” Sgt. Mary Bonilla wrote in the affidavit. “Frink did not say a word. Frink put the gun in a bag he had been holding and walked by Robert Ferriere without saying a word.”
Ferriere was in the hospital because she had suffered an aneurysm, the document said, but was scheduled to be discharged on Friday.
According to the affidavit, a nurse in the room at the time told police Frink entered the room holding a small duffle bag. When she turned, she said she saw Frink holding a black handgun and pointing it his mother. The nurse told police she ran from the room and hid behind medical equipment when she heard two gun shots.
According to the document, Frink admitted to police he drove up from Rhode Island that day and went to the hospital to kill his mother, shooting her several times.
Autopsy results released Wednesday said Ferriere was shot four times, and her cause of death was ruled a homicide.
No one else was hurt in the shooting and police arrested Frink a short time later. A motive is unclear.
In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Dartmouth-Hitchcock officials said staff members were receiving counseling and support in light of the tragedy. Employees who were in the ICU at the time of the shooting were being given time before returning to work, and security procedures are being reviewed.
“We’ve trained for this, and people were ready…ready for something that you should never be ready for,” said Ed Merrens, the Chief Clinical Officer for the hospital. He said the hospital went into lockdown after the shots were fired, and more than 100 law enforcement swarmed the scene. Frink was taken into custody before leaving the premises.
When asked if the hospital would consider more stringent security protocols like metal detectors, Merrens said it was under review.
“This has happened in Boston, it’s happened other places locally,” Merrens said. “And everyone’s had to kind of review how much they want to restrict passage of patients and people.”
He added that the ICU does restrict entry to family members, but Frink was allowed in because his mother was the patient.
In Warwick Tuesday night, police showed up to Frink’s Hoxsie Avenue home, finding his two children inside. They are now staying with family.
In 2013, the children’s mother was found dead in a car with her 3-year-old son. At that time, foul play was ruled out.
Police are asking anyone with information about Frink that could be helpful to the investigation to call New Hampshire State Police Det. Brian Strong (603) 223-8568.