Shooter report at US air base stemmed from misunderstanding

Joint Base Andrews is under the jurisdiction of the US air force and has around 3,000 residents, according to numbers from 2010. (Shutterstock)

Officials described reports of an active shooter at a military post outside Washington as stemming from someone who made a distress call after seeing security forces doing a routine inspection, the Associated Press reported.

The confusion was heightened by a planned active shooter drill at Joint Base Andrews that had not yet begun and was planned for later in the morning. The base said in a Facebook post Thursday that there was no shooter and no threat to the base or workers there.

However, Joint Base Andrews said on its Twitter account that it is “all clear” at the base except for Malcolm Grow medical facility which is still on a lockdown.

It was initially reported that Joint Base Andrews, which hosts aircrafts used by President Barack Obama, was on a lockdown due to a report of an active shooter, its official Twitter account said on Thursday.

On Twitter, Joint Base Andrews told people to take refuge in a shelter there. Several minutes later, the base tweeted that “first responders are on-scene now.”

But there were also conflicting reports from the base that could suggest the shooting was only a drill.

Emergency vehicles with lights on but no sirens were also spotted in the area of the base.

At least three people in camouflage and helmets could be seen walking working dogs around the three-story medical building at Joint Base Andrews, the Associated Press reported.

Officials said Thursday emergency responders were working to secure the scene of an active shooter report at a military post near Washington, but it was not immediately clear if any shots were fired or if anyone was wounded.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said there was an “unfolding situation” at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland but provided no other details.

The base is under the jurisdiction of the US air force and has around 3,000 residents, according to numbers from 2010. Obama regularly plays golf on the base. The base, located around 32 kilometers outside downtown Washington DC.

Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to leave from Andrews on Thursday morning, but his trip was delayed by the lockdown.

The vice president’s office said he was waiting out the delay at his residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington.

Biden was due in Columbus, Ohio, for a midday campaign event for Gov. Ted Strickland.

The president, vice president and other senior government officials fly in and out of Joint Base Andrews.

President Barack Obama was last at the base Wednesday night when he returned from a trip to Ottawa, Canada.

(With AP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47