Joint Base Andrews lifts lockdown following report of armed person

Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County, Maryland, has lifted a lockdown after an armed person was reported near base housing Thursday afternoon.

Joint Base Andrews said in a Facebook post that no suspect as described in the report was found after a full sweep of the base. Security forces will continue to go door-to-door at base housing, the base said, and there will be an increased security presence out of an abundance of caution.

According to the base, a man in a purple sweatshirt and black shorts was reported carrying an AR-15 style rifle near base housing, prompting the lockdown early Thursday afternoon. Joint Base Andrews initially described an “active shooter,” but later in a news release said that this was “not an active shooter as no shots have been fired.”

No one was reported injured.

The base said lockdown procedures are being lifted as follows:

  • At 5 p.m., individuals with children in the Imagine Andrews School, CDC, Youth Center, and patients were released to pick up their children.
  • At 5:30 p.m., individuals on the East Side of base were released.
  • At 6 p.m., lockdown lifted and all personnel released to depart base.

The base, a few miles outside D.C., is home to the fleet of blue and white presidential aircraft, including Air Force One and the “doomsday” 747 aircraft that can serve as the nation’s airborne nuclear command and control centers if needed.

Last month, an intruder breached the base and gained access to part of the base’s housing complex. A resident opened fire on the trespasser.

In February 2021, a man got through the military checkpoint onto the installation, then through additional fenced secure areas to gain access to the flight line and climb into a C-40, which is the military’s 737-equivalent aircraft used to fly government officials.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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