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Wright-Patterson Air Force Base: No Real-World Active Shooter, Lockdown Lifted

Jess Mador
Col. Tom Sherman 88th Airbase Wing and Installation Commander addresses reporters at Hope Hotel.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base officials say there was no “real world” active shooter incident at the base Thursday afternoon. False reports of a shooter at the base's hospital situation triggered an hours long base-wide lockdown. 

“We received a 911 telephone call from an individual inside the hospital who truly believed that there was an emergent situation taking place. At that point in time, any of our exercise situations immediately go into pause and we begin to respond according to the threat that has been dictated to us via that 911,” said Col. Tom Sherman 88th Airbase Wing and Installation Commander in a news conference at Hope Hotel.

Emergency responders reported to the base at 12:40 p.m. and issued the lockdown. A member of Wright-Patt’s security team discharged a weapon to breach a locked door during a sweep of the hospital building.

SWAT personnel were dispatched to the scene. A spokesperson for the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives field office in Columbus said agents also traveled to the base to assist. 

"I've seen multiple SWAT trucks pulling through with guys in the back, Ohio State [Highway] Patrol, Fairborn sheriffs, Base cops. I've seen them all," said Joe Miller, who works at Lev's Pawn Shop on Rt. 444 next to the base. "There's a lot of police presence, and it was pretty quick."

The lockdown was lifted around 2:30 p.m. No injuries were reported and the scene has been declared safe. 

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is located in Fairborn, Ohio about 10 miles north of Dayton. It employs more 27,000 civilian and military personnel. 


Update 3:41PM on August 2: According to Wright-Patterson officials, "There was no real world active shooter incident on Wright-Patterson AFB and base personnel remain safe." See full statement below.


Update 2:59PM on August 2: Multiple civilian employees at WPAFB say the earlier lockdown related to a report of an active shooter on base was lifted at 2:26 p.m. The base will remain closed for the remainder of the day. It’s not clear whether the incident is related to earlier emergency drills which were conducted  throughout the morning. 

Update 2:35PM on August 2: WHIO-TV is reporting that the lockdown has been lifted for Area B of the Base.  Official are still asking the public to avoid the area around Wright-Patterson.

Update 2:16PM on August 2: WHIO-TV is reporting the Base hospital has begun the evacuation process. 

Update 2:05PM on August 2: The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is on the way to Wright-Patterson to aid in the response and investigation according to an ATF spokesperson. 

Original report at 1:51pm on August 2:

An active shooter has been reported at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, according to an alert received by base employees.

Emergency responders were dispatched to an incident at building 830, Wright-Patterson’s Hospital at 12:40 p.m, according to a tweet from base officials.  Authorities have not yet released additional information.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base reported the active shooter onsite via Twitter.

Reports indicate SWAT personnel have been dispatched to the scene. A base employee told WYSO the base has been placed on lockdown and all employees have been told to take cover. He was also told that the suspect is barricaded on the fourth floor of the hospital building. He and co-workers are taking shelter in a locker room about one block away from the hospital. 

Traffic along Highway 444 near Gate 1A is backed up. The Dayton Daily News reports all base gates are closed.

Wright State University tweeted that situation poses no threat to the campus, which is located nearby in Faiborn.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.
After joining the WYSO staff in 2009, Juliet developed WYSO’s digital and social media strategy, working closely with her colleagues on daily news coverage. In July 2021, Juliet stepped into a new role, becoming WYSO’s Music Director. An avid music fan and former record store employee, Juliet continues to host her two music shows, Alpha Rhythms and Kaleidoscope, which features studio performances from local musicians every week.