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Alert at Nationwide Children's Hospital canceled after assault-style weapon reported

Columbus police officers responded to a report that a man was carrying an assault-style weapon.
George Shillcock

UPDATED: Dec. 12, 2023, 4:47 p.m. EST

Employees at Nationwide Children's Hospital received an all clear alert Tuesday afternoon after someone reported a man carrying an assault-style weapon came to the hospital.

A Columbus police dispatcher confirms officers responded to the hospital downtown after a call was received shortly before 3 p.m. There were no reported injuries.

Leah Conley, a dental assistant in the hospital's Dental Surgery Center, said when she heard the code for a person with a gun, she sheltered in a locked single bathroom with a group of people, including a few children and a baby.

"They were really good. It seems like kids these days are really used to this kind of stuff. They see it in the news," Conley said. "So, they were all really calm. Really mature. Nobody was crying.”

Conley said she was a little shaken up, because she heard the reported man with a gun was on the lower level, where she had just been. She estimates she and the children were in the bathroom for about 30 minutes before receiving the “all clear.”

A hospital spokesperson issued the following statement concerning the incident:

We can confirm that Nationwide Children's was on lockdown for approximately 40 minutes this afternoon. Our team followed all appropriate protocols. Columbus Police Department responded immediately and reported our situation as all clear with no threat present. We have returned to normal operations. Any further inquiries should be directed to the Columbus Police Department.

Police have not given any information about a suspect.