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Man asked for time alone with mom in N.H. hospital room and then opened fire, documents say

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 9/13/2017 By Travis Andersen and John R. Ellement

Video by WCVB

A Warwick, R.I., man who is accused of shooting his 70-year-old mother to death while she lay in the intensive care unit of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., is due in court Wednesday for arraignment on a first-degree murder charge.

Travis M. Frink, 48, is set to appear in Grafton County Superior Court in North Haverhill at 1 p.m., officials said. He’s accused of gunning down his mother, Pamela Ferriere, 70, of Groton, N.H., on Tuesday afternoon, setting off a lockdown at New Hampshire’s largest hospital that lasted for several hours.

Frink had signed into the visitor’s desk at the hospital around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.

According to an affidavit filed in the case by New Hampshire State Police Sergeant Mary G. Bonilla, a nurse named Lauren Wojtonik called 911 after seeing Frink pull out a black handgun. She took shelter in a different room and heard two gunshots followed by screams, Bonilla wrote.

Frink’s mother had been in the ICU receiving treatment for an aneurism and was scheduled to be released Friday, the affidavit said.

Bonilla wrote that Ferrier’s husband, Robert Ferrier, who is Frink’s stepfather, was in his wife’s hospital room when Frink entered. Frink asked his stepfather if he could have time alone with his mother, and Robert Ferrier left after his wife told him it was okay, the affidavit said.

But once he exited the room, Robert Ferrier heard his terrified wife scream, so he turned around and saw Frink fire “several shots,” the filing said.

“Frink did not say a word,” Bonilla wrote. “Frink put the gun in a bag he had been holding and walked by Robert Ferrier without saying a word. Robert Ferrier then called for help.”

A motive for the killing has not been disclosed.

Frink was later arrested as he tried to leave the hospital grounds. He confessed to the brutal killing after waiving his Miranda rights, according to the document and authorities.

Dr. Joanne M. Conroy, the hospital’s chief executive and president, on Tuesday called the shooting “an incredibly stressful and tragic day for the affected family.”

After the killing, the hospital went into a “code silver,” which calls for immediate evacuation. As of 5:30 p.m., staff were allowed back in the hospital, and by 6:20 p.m. SWAT teams had cleared the hospital, officials said.

Frink’s family could not immediately be reached for comment.

His LinkedIn page says that he has worked as a computer programmer and IT specialists for more than two decades at a number of different companies.

Frink’s former employers include Stanley Bostitch, Mohegan Sun, Randstad Technologies, and United Natural Foods.

A suspect at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center was pulled from a grey Ford Escape. © Jennifer Hauck/The Valley News via Associated Press A suspect at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center was pulled from a grey Ford Escape. “I have been fortunate to enjoy a classical information systems technical career,” Frink wrote on the LinkedIn page. “ ... I am skilled in all areas of iSeries systems management.”

The Associated Press reported that Frink’s wife and 3-year-old son were found dead in 2013 inside a running car that reeked of alcohol and vomit. It was not clear if that case was connected in any way to Ferrier’s murder.

In 2013, Warwick police had identified the victims in the running car case as Kathleen Frink, 39, and Ryan Frink, 3. They were found inside a car at the Fairfax Village Apartment Complex in Warwick on the night of Aug. 17, police said at the time in a statement, and the vehicle had “apparently been idling for several hours.”

The statement said there were no initial indications of foul play.

“An initial investigation has determined that the victims had no known associates or relatives at this particular apartment complex,” the statement said. “Investigators spoke with several residents of the complex, and it is believed that the vehicle had been parked at that location since approximately noon on Saturday. Investigators also indicated that someone had heard what sounded like a child crying at around 5pm, however no calls were placed to the police.”

Court records in Rhode Island show that Travis and Kathleen Frink had entered divorce proceedings several years ago.

Danny McDonald, Bryan Marquard, and Emily Sweeney of the Globe Staff contributed to this report John R Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.


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