Rady Children’s Hospital in Kearny Mesa. File photo

Heightened security measures were in effect Friday at Rady Children’s Hospital due to a staffer’s alleged threats to carry out a shooting rampage at the Serra Mesa medical center and “burn it down,” authorities reported.

“In response to a potential safety concern directed at specific employees, Rady Children’s main campus is currently on heightened security status,” the administration of the hospital confirmed in a prepared statement. “We have taken steps to assure safety for patients, staff and visitors, including working closely with law enforcement.”

The protective measures stem from an “immediate threat” reported last Friday, according to the office of San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott.

A temporary restraining order filed Tuesday states that hospital pharmacist Augusto Sioson, 54, reportedly threatened to “shoot up” his workplace and “come burn it down,” and had “bragged” to co-workers about owning a cache of guns.

In response to the allegations, the San Diego Police Department took Sioson into custody and admitted him to a psychiatric hospital for a mental health evaluation, SDPD Lt. Shawn Takeuchi told reporters. It was unclear this afternoon if the suspect had been released from the facility.

During a search of Sioson’s Chula Vista home, officers seized 13 rifles and handguns, along with about 136,000 rounds of ammunition, according to the city attorney’s office.

“This is just one of hundreds of dangerous situations that have been prevented with a gun-violence restraining order,” Elliott stated. “We are aggressively pursuing a (one-year) GVRO in this case to protect the employees, those who visit the hospital and any others who come into contact with this individual.”

A court hearing on the firearm restraining order is scheduled for Feb. 28.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.