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Cops Hold Person of Interest in Niagara Falls, N.Y.-Area Hospital Bomb Threat

Police were interviewing a person of interest Saturday after an armed man entered a hospital outside of Niagara Falls, New York, claiming he had an explosive device.

Lockport police got a call from Eastern Niagara Hospital at 4:57 a.m. ET after the man — armed with two rifles — demanded drugs from staff and said he had a bomb, according to authorities.

Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport, New York. WGRZ

Officers arrived within minutes, and the man fled on foot and dropped the two guns and a backpack in the hospital parking lot, police said.

Bomb squad investigators determined that a device found in the backpack — which resembled a bomb — was harmless.

The hospital remained on lockdown for several hours, and residents in the surrounding area were told to shelter in place as investigators searched for the suspect and any additional evidence.

At about 10:30 a.m., Lockport police said nearby residents could return to normal business and the hospital had reopened. Police were questioning a "person of interest," but could not immediately say if he was the suspect.

Hospital officials said in a statement that staff did provide the man with a "limited amount of drugs" and that no shots were fired inside the facility.

"The hospital wishes to convey to the public that all patients and staff at the facility are safe," the statement said.

Lockport police said two shots were fired by an officer at the suspect, but they do not believe he was wounded.

Witnesses described the suspect as a white male with blonde hair, about 6 feet tall and in his early 20s.