An anonymous bomb threat sent a wave of first responders to Boston Children's Hospital Tuesday night, and today the investigation into that threat continues.
Following the threat, which was made by phone, Boston Police responded and set up a perimeter around the building on Longwood Avenue. The building went into soft lockdown for about 90 minutes, leaving concerned parents waiting outside for information.
"I just want to make sure my kid's safe and if anything bad is going to happen," Patricia MacArthur-Doval told NBC10 Boston Tuesday night. "I'd rather be with him, you know? I'm not from around here, so it doesn't help that I'm here by myself and I'm just really scared and I don't know what's going on."
A sweep of the building found nothing suspicious, police said. No one was hurt.
Get New England news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NECN newsletters.
In a statement released Wednesday, the hospital stressed that safety was their top priority.
"Last night, the hospital was the target of an anonymous bomb threat," hospital officials wrote in a statement. "We moved swiftly to protect our patients and employees, and we are working with law enforcement and outside experts as they closely investigate this situation. We are relieved no bomb was found and that employees and patients are safe. We remain vigilant in our efforts to battle the spread of false information about the hospital and our caregivers. We are committed to ensuring the hospital is a safe and secure place for all who work here and come here. We will provide additional information as we are able."
Police have not described the nature of the threat Tuesday night or offered any details about the potential origin.
Boston's Children's Hospital recently warned staff about an increase in threats to their institution, which were tied to the care the facility offers to transgender youth.
Some of these threats stem from misinformation posted online about the nature of the procedures performed and a wave of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric that has surfaced in recent years.
Some phone calls and emails have threatened violence against doctors and staff, and the hospital said in a statement posted to social media earlier this month, "We are deeply concerned by these attacks on our clinicians and staff fueled by misinformation and a lack of understanding and respect for our transgender community."
Boston Children's is not the only hospital to experience these types of online harassment and threats, according to an NBC News report earlier this year. That report noted social media attacks against other children's hospitals in Omaha, Nebraska and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
According to a recent report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, while the LGBTQ+ rights movement found an ally in the Biden administration, there is continued evidence of hate groups mobilizing in 2021 to push anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and ideology in the country.
It is not clear if Tuesday's threat was motivated by such rhetoric or something else entirely.