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Maryland naval facility sent into lockdown after reports of active shooter & bomb threat prompt site-wide search

Maryland naval facility sent into lockdown after reports of active shooter & bomb threat prompt site-wide search
A naval base in Bethesda, Maryland went into lockdown for hours on Wednesday after authorities received a phone tip-off that there was a bomb in one of its buildings.

Staff at US Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB), home to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, were told to “shelter in place” on Wednesday morning as emergency teams investigated the threats. 

Shortly before 9am local time (12pm GMT), officials received a tip-off by phone that Building 10 was the subject of a bomb threat. The facility wrote on its Twitter feed that it was also investigating reports of an active shooter on the site.

“The base is on lockdown. All personnel should shelter in place. All gates are closed to non-emergency traffic. The public is asked to avoid the area,” a tweet from NSAB read.

In a series of posts shortly before midday, the facility said the base remained on lockdown and that K-9 units were clearing buildings. They also confirmed that there was no sign of an active shooter at the base. 

In later updates, officials at the base said the shelter-in-place order would be "lifted building by building" by the commanding officer, with the restriction subsequently removed "for all locations" at around 1.15pm local time.

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NSAB is home to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as well as other military medical divisions and a radiology research center.

It is not uncommon for US military bases to go into lockdown. In September, the Wright-Patterson Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio remained shuttered for several hours after a single gunshot was reportedly heard inside. A month prior, the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling – which is operated by the navy and air force in Washington, DC – went into emergency lockdown after an armed suspect on the run was spotted on the premises. Back in June, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas went into a lockdown following reports of shots being fired at it.

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