Worker accidentally triggers active shooter alert at Veterans hospitals nationwide

Published: Apr. 12, 2016 at 3:31 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2016 at 5:53 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An active shooter alert at the McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond on Tuesday morning turned out to be a false alarm.

The alert was set off nationwide when an employee accidentally hit the "live" button during a training exercise, according to Veterans Affairs officials. An erroneous message regarding a "Code Silver: Active Shooter'" went through their emergency communications channels to McGuire and other VA hospitals across the country. That message was received by staff members at the hospital and community emergency response officials.

That message was sent in error, officials explained, saying that at no time was there an active threat of any kind at a VA campus or any of its buildings.

Minutes later, a follow-up message was sent to staff of the hospitals, asking them to disregard the earlier message and to also disregard the earlier "Code Silver" alert.

Those alerts can be sent via a number of methods, including audible, e-mail, and text messages.

The "erroneous message" received McGuire Veterans Hospital on Broad Rock Boulevard was not the only VA hospital to get the message as officials said the issue was "widespread" and did affect several other VA hospitals, including the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Roanoke.

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