Police Declare Campus Safe, Active Shooter Alert Triggered at Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead Was False
By Barbara A. Preston | Posted April 20, 2023
Montgomery Township police responded to a potential active shooter alert at Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead on Sunday, April 16 at 7:07 pm, and quickly and safely discovered it was a false alarm.
Police were able to deescalate a sensitive situation when they encountered an adult male experiencing a severe mental health crisis in the immediate area. He was accompanied by a woman, later identified as the man's girlfriend.
The man had been extremely agitated, aggressive, and hostile towards the officers — making threats of violence. The girlfriend was able to physically restrain the man while officers were able to create dialog from a safe distance.
The officers deescalated the situation while the woman held and calmed the subject.
Dispatchers at the Somerset County Communications center had received a call from Carrier Clinic advising there were multiple reports of shots fired on campus — a possible active shooter. Carrier Clinic had activated their security protocols. Montgomery Township Police Officers responded to the scene and requested mutual aid from area municipalities. Officers from the Hillsborough, Raritan Borough, and Somerville police departments were among the first responding mutual aid units to arrive and establish contact teams.
The officers coordinated and began a search of the campus for potential threats, according to the press release. Officers discovered the distressed man is crisis, and made contact by cell phone with the woman accompanying him. She related to police that she was his girlfriend.
Officers were able to work with the woman to peacefully deescalate the situation and create a plan to safely provide services to the man in crisis. Officers worked with Carrier Clinic staff to assist the individual in crisis to help facilitate voluntary treatment at the facility.
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Additional responding officers from police departments in Branchburg Township, Bridgewater Township, Franklin Township, Green Brook, Manville, Raritan Brough, and Princeton Township continued the search on the campus. They were able to help secure the scene, as well as provide mutual aid support for additional calls for service within Montgomery Township during the incident.
The campus search determined no threat of an active shooter or evidence of shots being fired on the campus.
The Montgomery Township Police Department press officer Tom Frascella noted the department is grateful for the immediate and professional mutual aid response received both on scene and for police coverage in Montgomery and Hillsborough during the time of the incident.
Montgomery EMS also responded to the scene.
Police and all involved reacted with professionalism and care.