“No longer that safe haven”: Two more security scares outside Minneapolis hospitals

MINNEAPOLIS – Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis was put on lockdown Monday afternoon following another armed robbery outside the hospital.

Hospital officials say someone was “robbed at gunpoint while sitting inside their vehicle which was parked near our Minneapolis hospital.” The victim wasn’t hurt, but officials say “their personal items were stolen.”

A “Code Yellow alert” soon went into effect for about 30 minutes, with staff members urged to avoid windows and doors until an “all clear” announcement was made on the hospital’s P.A. system.

Earlier Monday morning around 3 a.m., Allina Health said the window and side of the building at Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute was damaged by gunfire. Allina Health said security officers exchanged gunfire with a man they say had a gun on campus and was under the influence. No one was hurt.

Last week, Minneapolis police said they have seen a rise in robberies and carjackings in the 3rd Precinct in recent weeks. The precinct includes several major health care facilities like Children’s Minnesota and Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

“You go to the hospital to be able to find a safe haven there. It’s no longer that safe haven,” said Abbott Northwestern Employee Andre Friedman.

Freidman walks and buses to work, and grew up in the neighborhood, which has seen a spike in crime. He said he is making an effort to be more cautious of his surroundings and may change his routine once it becomes dark earlier in the evening.

“I just think the difference now is more people are becoming in tune with it and starting to see it rather than brush it off,” Friedman said.

RELATED: ‘There’s an uneasiness:” Minneapolis health care workers concerned for their safety

Since mid-July, two employees have been held up at gunpoint outside Children’s Minnesota. The main entrance lobby windows were also damaged by gunfire. Employees at Children’s tell WCCO they’ve started traveling in groups to get to their vehicles before and after work.

“It was a little bit unsettling for sure,” Andrew Faudree said.

Faudree lives across the street from Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and said he personally hasn’t had any issues within the year and half he’s lived in the neighborhood.

“Just living in front of the hospital is really nice. There’s a lot of security, there’s a lot of people moving around. There’s just a lot of attention to this spot right here,” Faudree said.

He feels the recent crime is an opportunity to look at underlying issues in the community.

“As a whole, this area’s just struggling for a lot of different reasons. This is kind of an interesting pocket. If you go a little north, a little bit south, there’s different stories, but I think that’s the story of Minneapolis as a whole. There’s a bunch of different things happening for a bunch of different reasons,” he said.

RELATED: Minneapolis health care workers concerned for their safety

Children’s Minnesota said they’ve installed more cameras, shatter-resistant film to windows, and are offering escort services.

“Children’s Minnesota is committed to the safety of patients, their families, visitors and employees. Our efforts to improve our security practices are continuous,” Children’s Minnesota said in a statement to WCCO Monday.

Allina Health said they’re also offering escort services, increasing patrols, and have a security operations center that’s staffed 24-7.

“Providing a safe and secure environment for our patients and staff is of the highest importance to Allina Health,” Allina officials said.

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