Stony Brook School of Medicine has said that it will continue to increase hospital security after a bomb scare on June 9, according to a June 11 email sent to the university’s medical community.
The university pointed out that there have been multiple security upgrades over the past few years, including software upgrades and the expansion of the hospital’s camera system, and adding panic devices throughout the building.
“We have made these improvements, but we won’t stop there,” the email read. “We will continue to explore additional opportunities to maintain a safe and secure environment for our employees, for our patients and for the community.”
Multiple police alerts were sent out via text and email on Tuesday night, warning the campus community about the suspected threat and advising people to avoid the hospital.
The June 11 email concluded that this communication “may have caused detrimental panic resulting in additional safety vulnerabilities to our Hospital staff who were secured outside the established safety zone perimeter.”
Stony Brook University police responded to a call about a “suspicious individual” at the hospital around 9 p.m. They arrested Mastic Beach resident Robert Roden, 33, who was carrying a backpack with three explosives inside and a BB gun when he was taken into custody.
According to the email, he was attempting to visit a patient but was turned away because of COVID-19 restrictions. After Roden went into the public restroom, a paramedic told a hospital security guard that Roden — who was wearing a tactical vest — seemed suspicious. Hospital security called the University Police Department, which arrived only minutes later.
The Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) became involved after responding officers discovered a “suspicious-looking device” in Roden’s backpack. The SCPD closed down the road going into the hospital and evacuated two floors in the building. Nobody was injured.
Police searched the emergency department and deemed it safe. The hospital resumed normal operations around 1:30 a.m.
SCPD announced later that day that a search warrant of Roden’s home had recovered multiple other explosives. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is continuing the investigation, and Roden has been charged with multiple counts of criminal possession.
The School of Medicine email thanked police responders and the paramedic who alerted security.
“We will continue to explore additional opportunities to maintain a safe and secure environment for our employees, for our patients and for the community,” it read.