After a lockdown at U.S. Joint Base Andrews because of reports of an active shooter, law enforcement officials said no active shooter was found, according to an Associated Press report.
Base officials issued an all-clear message for the base after about an hour, but said in Twitter messages that a medical center at the facility remained on lockdown.
Reports of a real-world active shooter situation were miscommunicated before the exercise was expected to begin, officials said in a Facebook post. “There was a misidentification of the security forces emergency services team who were conducting a routine inspection of the medical facility, which caused the distress call to the base defense operations center”.
“We take [these] types of reports seriously and are responding accordingly to ensure the safety of those on base”, Andrews said. He was holding at his official residence in Washington, his spokeswoman said during the lockdown.
It is the home of the 11th Wing and the 89th Airlift Wing, which operates the presidential Air Force One aircraft.
Andrews called the lockdown and ordered all personnel to shelter in place Thursday morning, following reports of an active shooter that came in at about 9 a.m.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, asked about the Andrews incident during testimony before a Senate committee, said there was an unfolding situation at the base and that he might have to leave the hearing at some point to monitor the situation.
“Joint Base Andrews was scheduled to conduct a no-notice active shooter exercise in the late morning on the opposite side of the base”.
He was at the base when the 9/11 attacks took place, she said, and “can gauge when things are more serious”.
Joint Base Andrews is home to the presidential air fleet, and the president, vice-president and other senior government officials fly in and out of the base.
Rodney Smith is a patient advocate at the military post’s medical facility.
A second tweet from the base says the incident is ongoing at the Malcolm Grow Medical Facility and first responders are on the scene. “Then it came back “real world”, he said. He was in the older building.
Joint Base Andrews tweets that the base is on lockdown due to a report of an active shooter.
During the lockdown, which lasted about 90 minutes, armed military personnel were seen directing traffic outside of the gates of the facility.