Hospital in Santa Ana Searched After Caller Reports Having Gun Inside Facil

SANTA ANA (CNS) - Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana was placed on lockdown for nearly three hours today after police received a call from a person inside the building claiming to have a gun, but no sign of the person was found.

Santa Ana police received the call at about 8:15 a.m., Chief David Valentin said.

According to the chief, the call came from an internal hospital network system, confirming that the call was made from inside the building in the 1000 block of North Tustin Avenue.

Police search teams began scouring the building, beginning in the basement and working their way through the seven-story patient tower.

Shortly after 11 a.m., Valentin stated that police had completed their search, including the emergency room, a storage facility area and a two- story administrative building behind the hospital.

``No one was located having a gun,'' Valentin said. ``No injuries were reported, and the ... facility (is) safe at this time.''

There were no reports of any shots being fired. Valentin said investigators were working to determine who placed the call to authorities.

``I think (in) an investigation such as this, you don't want to rule out anything,'' Valentin said. ``Is it an employee? A current employee? Is it a patient? Is it someone just walking through? Or a former employee, really. So, we need to look at all of those possibilities before we make a determination. (The person) said `I have a gun,' and hung up the phone, essentially.''

During the lockdown, Valentin said people concerned about friends or relatives ``can call in to check on your loved one, but please don't rush down here because we do have a lockdown (of the hosptial). Trust that we are working through this situation to stabilize it as quickly as possible.''

Surgeries in progress were not interrupted, officials said, but some non-essential procedures were delayed.

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