Cops: Man asked stepdad to leave, then shot mom in hospital
NORTH HAVERHILL, N.H. – The husband of a woman fatally shot in a New Hampshire hospital said he saw his stepson point a gun at her and fire several shots before walking away without saying a single word, according to a police complaint released Wednesday.
Travis Frink, 48, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 70-year-old mother, Pamela Ferriere, on Tuesday in the intensive care unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. He later told police that he intended to kill her, authorities said. No reason or motive was given.
Police said Ferriere, who had suffered an aneurism, was expected to be released from the hospital Friday.
When Frink went to visit her Tuesday, his stepfather, Robert Ferriere, was in the room and he asked to spend some time with his mother, authorities said.
Ferriere asked his wife if that was OK and she indicated yes, the affidavit said. As he was leaving the room, he heard her shout or scream something, then turned and saw Frink pointing a gun at her, the affidavit said. After several shots were fired, Frink walked out of the room without saying anything, Ferriere told police.
Pamela Ferriere's nurse, Lauren Wojtonik, called 911, saying a visitor had pulled out a black handgun. When she saw the gun, Wojtonik ran and took shelter in a different room. She then heard two gunshots, followed by screams.
When asked about the shooting Wednesday morning by The Associated Press, Robert Ferriere said he had no idea why it happened. "I'm not a mind reader," he said, before hanging up.
Frink, of Warwick, Rhode Island, was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon at Grafton Superior Court in North Haverhill, New Hampshire. He will be represented by public defender Rebecca McKinnon, who did not immediately return a voicemail message left for her Wednesday.
Frink was detained as he tried to leave the grounds of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, authorities said.
The affidavit said Frink also visited his mother earlier in her hospital stay. The nurse told police she had been his mother's nurse for the past two weeks.
Frink suffered a devastating loss in 2013 when his wife and 3-year-old son were found dead inside a running car at an apartment complex in Rhode Island.
Police said that when officers opened the door of the running car with fogged windows, they found the inside of the vehicle very hot and smelling of alcohol and vomit. Officials said the body of Frink's wife was found in the driver's seat and the body of his son was found on the floor in the back of the car.
Police suspected alcohol played in a role.
Frink's Facebook page shows he got engaged last December. His LinkedIn page includes a long list of experience in computer systems administration and technical support jobs in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. Messages left with the company listed as his current employer weren't immediately returned.
Several of Frink's neighbors in Warwick said he mostly kept to himself.
Tuesday's shooting sparked panic at the hospital as employees and patients were evacuated into the parking lot and a lockdown was ordered. People were told to avoid the area around the hospital, and traffic was stopped on a route leading to it.
Joanne Conroy, the president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, praised her staff for its response and said everyone had taken part in several active-shooter trainings in the past.
She said the medical center planned a town hall meeting for employees Wednesday to discuss next steps as workers recover from the "traumatic event."
This story has been corrected to show Frink is 48, not 49.