DC military base locked down until armed man detained
WASHINGTON (AP) — A military base in the nation’s capital was locked down for about two hours Friday, after an armed man ran onto the grounds during a local police investigation of gunshots on the streets surrounding the base.
A statement from Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling said the man’s firearm was discovered after the intrusion, and the intruder himself was detained around 2:45 p.m. during “a thorough sweep of the installation.”
The individual, who was not named, was transferred to Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department.
The naval support facility at the north end of the base is used by Marine Helicopter Squadron One, the fleet of green helicopters that carry the president and vice president.
Col. Mike Zuhlsdorf, the base commander, credited the “thorough and coordinated response” among multiple agencies, including MPD and the Secret Service, with helping to swiftly control the situation.
“I remain confident in our security posture,” Zuhlsdorf said in a statement.
The lockdown was lifted around 3 p.m. and cars slowly started moving on and off the base. No injuries were immediately reported.
The 905-acre base in southeast Washington houses Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard units, along with the Washington field office of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the headquarters of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The installation is in an area that occasionally has local police activity nearby. Over the years there have been a few incidents where that activity filtered onto the base, including one where a suspect being sought by police scaled a fence and was taken into custody by Defense Department authorities.
The lockdown caused a brief panic.
“If you encounter the individual and have a safe route, RUN,” base officials posted on Facebook in the first moments of the lockdown. “If you do not have a safe route to run, HIDE. Barricade your door, turn off the lights and your cell phone ringer, and remain silent. If you are hiding, prepare to FIGHT.”
Just last week, a Pentagon police officer was stabbed to death after a burst of violence at a transit center outside the building. A suspect was shot by law enforcement and died at the scene. After that violence, the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. military, was temporarily placed on lockdown.