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Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Lockdown Lifted, All Clear Given

A line of cars waits to enter Wright-Patterson Air Force base, which has been under lockdown for hours due to reports of an active shooter in the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. It is night, there is a sidewalk and traffic cones, and the gate's overhang is lit from underneath.
Chris Welter
A line of cars waits to enter Wright-Patterson Air Force base, which has been under lockdown for hours due to reports of an active shooter in the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

This story describes a developing situation and is being continuously updated.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base went into lockdown for about four hours Thursday night, after two people reported the sound of a single gunshot inside the NASIC. However, after two full sweeps of the building by security services the base reported that no injuries were discovered and the emergency was lifted around 1:35 a.m.

The National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) is one of the most heavily-secured intelligence complexes in the world. The base said an active shooter was reported around 9:20 p.m. in Building 856 "Sector Eastside," and that security forces were working to sweep the building.

Base commander Col. Patrick Miller will give a media update shortly in the parking lot of the Hope Hotel on the base's campus.

Base public affairs personnel told reporters Chris Welter and Mawa Iqbal that initial reports of an active shooter were unconfirmed, and a second sweep of the NASIC was ongoing.

The NASIC is a large facility, about 850,000 square feet spread over three floors, and the sweeps took some time. Different intelligence agencies operate different parts of the building, and not everyone has access to every room. Personnel with clearance had to arrive to assist in the sweep.

The Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center said emergency units from surrounding jurisdictions were not been dispatched to Wright-Patterson. Local television reporters saw Montgomery County sheriff's deputies arrive and then depart.

Col. Miller is on the base and won't be able to leave through a base gate to brief reporters until the lockdown is lifted. WYSO reporters are on the scene and are providing updates.

The base’s giant voice loudspeaker system broadcasted lockdown instructions for several hours, but switched to an "all clear" message around 1:35 a.m. The 88th Air Base Wing operates Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and provided tweets of the response throughout the evening.

The Wright State University police department advised its students and employees to stay clear of the the north end of their main campus, including Kauffman Ave. and Ohio State Route 844, and to take safety precautions to protect themselves if necessary.

Lines of cars were backed up waiting to enter and leave the base. Some people in line had been waiting for hours.

Updated: September 10, 2021 at 12:48 AM EDT
Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.
Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.