‘Misidentification’ at Joint Base Andrews drill led to active-shooter response

Joint Base Andrews says a “misidentification” of security forces carrying out a routine inspection of the base may have set off false alarms of an active shooter.

“Fortunately, this was not a life-threatening situation,” said Col. Brad Hoagland, 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews commander, said in statements released to JBA’s Twitter page. “We take all threats seriously and reacted to ensure the security of those on the base.”

Joint Base Andrews gave an “all clear” notice after having been on lockdown since around 9 a.m. following reports of an active shooter.

JBA announced on its Facebook page at 10:42 a.m. that the base lockdown has been lifted, with the exception of the Malcolm Grow Medical Facility.

Law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that no active shooter was found at the military post.

Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to leave from Andrews on Thursday morning, but his trip was delayed by the lockdown. The president, vice president and other senior government officials fly in and out of the base.

JBA announced an active-shooter situation on its Twitter account Thursday morning at the Malcolm Grow Medical Facility, located in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. All personnel were ordered to shelter in place.

“The base was scheduled to conduct an active shooter exercise, however, reports of a real-world active shooter situation were reported at Malcolm Grow medical facility,” JBA posted on its Facebook page.

“We are responding to a real world report of an active shooter. We take this types of reports seriously and are responding accordingly to ensure the safety of those on base,” wrote in a follow-up comment to the original Facebook post.

The AP reported at 10:20 a.m. that emergency vehicles were on the scene with lights on but no sirens in the area of the lockdown.

Joint Base Andrews said in a tweet that the incident is ongoing and that first responders are on scene

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the Associated Press that there is an “unfolding situation” at the base, but provided no further details.

Rodney Smith, a patient advocate at the military post’s medical facility, told the AP that an active-shooter drill had been planned, but officials later told workers it was a “real-world” situation.

“First it was an active-shooter exercise. Then it came back ‘real world,'” Smith told the AP.

Smith said the situation was unfolding at the newer of two buildings at the Malcolm Grow Medical Facility on the base. He was in the older building.

Joint Base Andrews said in a tweet that the incident is ongoing and that first responders are on scene.

The AP reported at 10:20 a.m. that emergency vehicles were on the scene with lights on but no sirens in the area of the lockdown.

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