WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — An investigation into the Aug. 2 active shooter scare at Wright-Patterson Air Force base revealed three major takeaways, the military installation’s leader announced today.
Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, briefed the findings of the Incident Review Board he ordered to examine all aspects of the active shooter incident that occurred at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center. Sherman’s comments were made as the review board’s report was made public today.
The three main takeaways, Sherman said, include coordinating proper training, communicating with other groups within the base about when to shelter and when to come out of shelter and creating a dialog with state, local and federal first responders to better understand their roles when responding to the base.
Sherman said the investigation will allow Wright-Patt to make changes to avoid a repeat false alarm. Moving forward, Sherman said the “goal is to establish confidence in what we do.”
At 12:27 p.m. on Aug. 2, a Wright-Patt med employee called 911 to report that a jogger has been injured on base. At the same time, an active shooter exercise at Kittyhawk area of the base was occurring. This is what started “the bleed over from exercise to real-world events,” according to the report.
“It was the convergence of these activities which were taking place at the same time which brought a significant amount of confusion and doubt,” Sherman said.
A “poorly planned and executed” base exercise at Wright-Patt led to an utterly chaotic response to the incident — resulting in a military service member discharging multiple rounds of ammunition from an assault rifle.
The report about the false active shooter incident on Wright-Patt detailed how an uncoordinated response from law enforcement could have resulted in “serious injury and property damage.” The incident terrified staff and civilians in a hospital filled with “fog and friction.”
The discharge of the M4 assault rifle by a Security Forces Squadron member is being handled by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. This news organization has submitted a public records request under the federal Freedom of Information Act for the office’s report.
UPDATE @ 12:14 p.m.:
Despite the confusion during the response to a false active shooter report, Sherman said the base was able to clear the medical center without any serious injuries.
When asked if anyone would be disciplined for their response during the incident Sherman said those responding in the medical hospital “felt there was a modified response” and that there was “not common understanding of how we operate.”
He also said that moving forward, the “goal is to establish confidence in what we do.”
Sherman said that the discharge of an M4 assault rifle by a Security Forces Squadron member is being handled by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
UPDATE @ 12:06 p.m.:
Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, said that an investigation into a false active shooter incident revealed three lessons for the base to learn from.
Those areas include coordinating proper training, communicating with other groups within the base about when to shelter and when to come out of shelter and creating a dialog with state, local and federal first responders so that they can understand their roles when responding to the base.
Sherman said the investigation will allow Wright-Patt to make the necessary changes so that the bases never goes through this again.
A press conference detailing the results of an investigation into a false active shooter incident at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in August is underway.
On Aug. 2, an active shooter was reported at the Wright-Patt Medical Center shortly after noon, causing approximately 100 local, state and federal officers to respond.