TUCSON, Ariz. — An Air Force base was rattled Friday after a report of a man with a gun prompted panic and accounts that someone had been shot at the sprawling facility on the edge of Tucson.
Traffic into and out of the base was being limited because of an unspecified security situation, but no one was shot or hurt, according to the public affairs office at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
The scare apparently was prompted by reports of someone with something that looked like a weapon, said Tech Sgt. Russ Martin. The reports haven't been confirmed, Martin said.
"So the base is going into crisis action mode. We're just locking down the base for the safety and security of the people on Davis-Monthan," he said.
A military official said a special agent on the base reported that an armed individual walked into a building on the base on the outskirts of the southern Arizona city, where earlier this year a gunman gravely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Ambulances were sent to the base, sparking fears of injuries, but it was just a case of bad timing, Martin said.
"Any ambulance you saw leaving earlier, not too long ago, was actually a woman going into labor," he said.
As the lockdown unfolded Friday, students were kept in schools on the base. Senior Airman Timothy Dunaway said traffic was reduced to a single point entry; vehicles lined up at the base's main gate and were being turned around.
Alison Bunnell, who lives at the base with her husband and their four children, was turned away when she tried to return to the base after having left it.
Bunnell said she was told that children at the base's schools were oblivious to what was going and were watching movies and eating snacks. She said she wasn't worried. "We have exercises all the time," Bunnell said.
Davis-Monthan is adjacent to the Pima Air & Space Museum and the "boneyard" for old military and government airplanes that is a popular destination for aviation enthusiasts.
The base is the home of the 355th Fighter Wing, and provides attack airpower, combat support and medical forces, according to the base's Facebook page.
Security at military bases has gained more attention in the last two years since an Army major went on a rampage at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009. Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the shooting spree. Investigators have foiled other plots against military bases in other parts of the country since Sept. 11.
Associated Press writers contributing to this report include Mark Carlson and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington.
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