WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was placed under lockdown Thursday night after reports of an active shooter at a building that’s part of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).
No threat was identified at the base after two people reported to a security worker hearing a single gunshot at the NASIC facility on base around 9 p.m. Thursday, said Col. Patrick Miller, Installation Commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base during a news conference early Friday morning.
“It’s real until it’s over,” Miller said. “At the end of the night, we did not find a threat.”
Miller said the security desk worker called in an active shooter event to the base operations center, which triggered a series of events including the shut down of gates and activation of base wide public address system.
“Threat exist or not, this was a very real event,” Miller said.
There were about 100 people working inside the NASIC building at the time of the incident and all ended up barricading themselves in rooms and closed doors and windows, the commander said.
There were no injuries reported during the incident and investigation, Miller said.
Miller said the mannerisms and tone of the people who reported the gunshot indicated “this was a true concern that they had, that they heard a gunshot and it needed reported.”
The commander said the base will walk through the entire scenario to see if there is anything that can be improved on, but overall Miller said “our training worked.”
Wright-Patt conducts active shooter exercises a few times during the year and are announced to the public in advance. The last training exercise was held August 18. Messages sent during the incident and investigation to base personnel stated Thursday’s incident was real-world and was not a drill.
The lockdown triggered the base’s “Giant Voice” loudspeaker announcements which were heard in surrounding communities that started around 9:20 p.m. A lockdown message was played over the speakers in intervals while the NASIC building was searched until the all clear was given close to 1:30 a.m. Friday.
The lengthy lockdown was due to the expansive NASIC building and protocols when incidents like a shooting are reported, Miller said. The NASIC building is around 850,000 square feet across three floors with several secure areas that all were required to be searched before an all clear could be given.
Students and employees at nearby Wright State University were advised to stay away from the base while the lockdown is in place, according to a message sent to university members.
“Wright State students and employees should stay clear of the areas toward the north end of campus, like Kauffman Ave. and Ohio State Route 844, and take appropriate safety precautions to protect themselves if necessary,” the university spokesperson said in a Facebook post.
A Wright State spokesperson later updated the post following the all clear saying the area was now safe for campus members.
We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.
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