Earlier today (8/2/2018) at approximately 12:40 PM, the air force base emergency responders were called in to a reported Active shooter incident at the Medical Center. This occurred during a typical, scheduled installation exercise which included an Active shooter scenario at a separate location. After investigation, it was confirmed that an unknown individual called 911, seemingly unaware that this was simply a normal exercise and believed that there was an actual shooting taking place.
The question is, why were citizens not informed that this was merely a training exercise until after it had occurred? Clearly, if people were informed prior to the occurrence it would not have caused all the panic that brought news teams and police officers to the location.
During the exercise, in an attempt to breech a locked door, a security forces member shot his firearm to open the door and continue to sweep the facility. Following this, the area had been declared safe and all personnel had been advised to avoid the base for the time being. The security responders did their jobs well, as they were there shortly after the call, but the level of professionalism of the Air Force Base informing civilians in the area is being questioned. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office told 2 NEWS they had not been called to the scene as of 2:00 p.m. Reports were made that a man barricaded himself in a room on the fourth floor of the base hospital, prompting a police response. At least the local police were informed of what was going to take place.
Wright-Patterson sent out a tweet explaining the security enforcers were simply responding to a, “reported Active Shooter incident”, and later thanked everyone for their understanding an cooperation during the panic. However, about two hours later, a video from outside the hospital showed service members and others standing outside the building, some of them with their hands up in the air.
While the reaction to an active shooter emergency seemed proper, better communications in informing the general public of a training exercise needed to happen.