Officials: No ‘real world’ active shooter incident at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

UPDATE @6 p.m.

Base officials confirmed to us that shortly before 12:40 p.m. Thursday, a person inside the base medical center called 911 to report an active shooter.

The base operations center, the base’s version of a dispatch center, sent emergency first responders to the medical center based on the threat information received, said Col. Tom Sherman, Wright-Patt Installation Commander.

Upon arrival at the medical center, security forces began a systematic sweep of the 99,000 square foot facility. At one point, a security officer discharged his weapon to get through a locked door.

No active shooter was found. No one was injured, and everyone is safe, Sherman said. The base was given the all-clear, and personnel are being asked to avoid the medical center.

What made today’s incident more complicated for base responders is that a half mile away in the Kittyhawk area of Area A, a planned, scheduled installation exercise involving an active shooter scenario was taking place.

That exercise stopped immediately with the news of the active shooter at the medical center.

“We don’t have any reason to believe the 911 caller was influenced by any exercise activity,” said Daryl Mayer, base spokesperson.

>> PHOTOS: Active shooter report at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Hospital

The scheduled exercise was published to all base personnel before today.

The training exercise did not use any simulated gunfire, and the weapons being used were brightly colored and clearly not real, Mayer said.

When asked what went wrong today, Sherman said he doesn’t think anything did go wrong.

“I’d like to redefine it by saying we received a 911 telephone call from inside the hospital from someone who truly believed there was an emergency situation taking place.”

The gunshot fired by a member of the WPAFB security forces during the sweep of the base medical center is under investigation, as is the entirety of what happened on the base Thursday, Sherman said.

"We have thorough investigation that's taking place that will give us the opportunity to determine the context, the reaction and decisions that were made," Col. Sherman said.

>> Wright-Patterson 911 Caller: ‘Help! Help! ... active shooter’

“We treat all scenarios with a level of urgency to determine the reality and ensure that we are responding according to the situations that are dictated to us ...," he said.


Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) released a statement addressing the incident.

“Almost everyone in our community knows someone who works with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in some capacity,” the statement read. “Wright-Patt has taken extraordinary measures to train for emergency situations. Our first responders were on the scene immediately to assist when they were called. There are still a lot of questions left unanswered right now, but I cannot express how thankful I am that no one was hurt today.”

UPDATE @ 3:37 p.m.: 

Officials at Wright Patterson Air Force Base now say there was no real-world active shooter incident.


UPDATE @ 2:47 p.m.:

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has given an all-clear to base personnel, advising the threat has passed, according to an alert.

However, people are being asked to stay clear of the medical center on base.

Elena Arrasmith, who works on base, told WHIO that she was on break from training exercises and found the base on lockdown when she came back.

“We were just in our exercise,” Arrasmith said. “I left for lunch and came back to a real world event happening.”

Arrasmith, who works as an administrator on base, said she hadn’t experienced anything similar to this in her time on the base.

“I do know that there was an active shooter real world event,” Arrasmith said.


Arrasmith was waiting outside of the base at around 2:40 p.m. to pick up her daughter, who was on base.

“I just want to go and get her and I can’t,” She said. “I don’t think I’ve experienced anything ... worse than that.”

UPDATE @ 2:31 p.m.:

There are reports of an active shooter at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at the base hospital, according to an alert sent to base personnel.

We’re hearing reports that someone may be barricaded inside the hospital, according to emergency dispatch traffic.

Around 2:30 p.m. Area B has been given the all-clear, however the situation on other areas of the base, including the hospital is unclear.

People are being escorted out of the hospital with their hand up by people wearing camouflage uniforms.

Peter Ekeh, the director of the Miami Valley Hospital’s trauma program, said he had been in touch with the surgery physician on call at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and was being updated on the situation.

“As of now there are no injuries that we know of,” Ekeh told WHIO.

Cassie Barlow, former 88th air base wing commander, called the news about the active shooting "disturbing,” but said individuals on base have the training they need to respond to an active shooter.

"There's so many trained individuals at Wright Patterson who know exactly what to do because they've walked through this exact scenario," Barlow told WHIO.

Barlow said there was never an active shooter during her time as commander, but there were drills.


The FBI responded to the scene, however has since been asked to stand down, according to a spokesperson.


“Emergency responders are enroute.  All WPAFB Gates are Closed.  All personnel take cover.  Limit all communication to emergency use only,” according to the alert.

“At approximately 12:40 p.m. today our base emergency responders which included security forces and fire department personnel reported to an incident in building 830, which is the Wright-Patterson hospital. No additional details are available at this time and info will be released as it becomes available,” said Marie Vanover, director of public affairs at Wright Patt.

Emergency dispatch reports indicated deputies and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were shutting down Ohio 844 at North Fairfield Road.

The base was scheduled to hold quarterly basewide exercises from July 30 to Aug. 3, however it’s unclear what role that could be playing in this afternoon’s incident.

Speakers on the base are asking people to stay where they are at.

The military medical center is located on base and has more than 4,000 annual admissions, according to its license.

Nearby Wright State University said the incident poses no threat to campus.


We’ve reached out to local hospitals to see if they have received any patients from the base connected to this incident.

UPDATE @ 1:01 p.m.:

There are reports of an active shooter at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at the base hospital, according to an alert sent to base personnel.

“Emergency responders are enroute.  All WPAFB Gates are Closed.  All personnel take cover.  Limit all communication to emergency use only,” according to the alert.

Scanner reports indicated a shooter may be barricaded inside the hospital.


We’re hearing reports of police activity at Wright-Patterson Air Force base in the area of the medical center.

A statewide request for police personnel from the area being requested to the base, according to initial reports.

Base officials said something is occurring on base, however could not disclose any details.

We’re working to learn more.

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