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Officials Investigate What Prompted 911 Call in Wright-Patterson Incident

photo of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
Local police departments say they did not know about the training exercises at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base that prompted a report of an active shooter situation Thursday.

Officials at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn are investigating what led to Thursday’s false report of an active shooter situation on the base. The incident caused an hours-long lockdown and prompted response from multiple local agencies.

Base officials said the lockdown was triggered by a report of an active shooter situation from an unknown 911 caller inside Wright-Patterson’s medical center. The Dayton Daily News reports other calls reporting a similar incident were received by Fairborn Police.  

At the time, an active shooter training exercise was taking place at a separate location on base about a half mile away. Security forces searched the hospital and declared it safe. It’s not yet clear what prompted the calls.

Patrick Oliver, a criminal justice professor at Cedarville University, said it’s unlikely callers will be charged with making false reports, if they perceived there was a real threat. 

“If they thought there was an active shooter situation and they called 911, they would absolutely not be charged. That is what you’re supposed to do,” he said.

A SWAT team and multiple local police departments responded to the incident. 

The Dayton Police Department did not receive advance notification about the scheduled emergency training exercises this week, according to a police spokesperson.

A Riverside Police representative said to his knowledge the department, which neighbors the base, was also not given advance warning about the emergency drills. 

Air Force officials said an investigation into the incident is underway. There’s no word yet on when it will be completed.