911 call amid training at base sets off active-shooter fears
A 911 call at a sprawling Air Force base on Thursday sent armored vehicles and unmarked police cars rushing to a medical center where people hid behind locked doors until authorities determined there was no threat.
During an extensive search after the call, a security team member shot through a locked door while checking rooms throughout the hospital, according to officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
The call came during a training exercise that included an active shooter scenario in another area of the base at least a half-mile away, said Daryl Mayer, a base spokesman.
So far, it’s not clear why the 911 call was made from inside the base or if it was prompted by the training exercise, he said.
Security team members involved in the training don’t fire blanks and use guns that clearly aren’t real, Mayer said.
Initial tweets from the base and authorities saying security forces were responding to an active shooter report set off a scare at Wright-Patterson, which is Ohio’s largest single-site employer with more than 27,000 civilian employees and military personnel.
Within about two hours, service members and medical workers began leaving the hospital with their hands in the air and stood outside the building.
The base’s commander, Col. Thomas Sherman, said security forces stopped their training exercise and responded to the hospital after the 911 call. After security searched the hospital, which had been on lockdown, they determined there had been no active shooter.
“I wouldn’t say anything went wrong in this case,” Sherman said, adding that there will be an investigation into the entire response.