Malmstrom Air Force Base is in lock down. Not sure why. Been over an hour so far. Nobody in, nobody out of any building or entering or leaving the base.
UPDATE @ 4:29 pm: the base has been removed from lockdown. Apparently someone spotted a person with a rifle somewhere near the base housing unit. Here’s the press release from the Malmstrom Public Affairs office:
Malmstrom Air Force Base security forces personnel have secured and cleared the area where an individual suspected to be carrying a rifle was spotted on-base today.
The individual was not found and there are no suspects related to the incident at this time, however base officials are conducting a thorough investigation and have asked base residents to report any information to base authorities.
In response to the sighting, Malmstrom officials directed the base populace, including those in on-base residences, to shelter-in-place at approximately 1:45 p.m. Following an extensive search, the restriction to shelter-in-place has been lifted, however base personnel are asked to remain on a heightened level of vigilance.
There have been no reports of further sightings and Malmstrom security forces personnel will continue heightened patrols as a precaution.
Malmstrom officials contacted the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office for assistance, and members of the Sheriff’s Office have responded to control traffic and monitor activity off-base.
MORE: One of the reasons that the military doesn’t take chances when it comes to possible shooters is because of the “Melberg” incident that happened at Fairchild Air Force Base (near Spokane) back in 1994. In that case, a disgruntled former Airman who had been discharged came back to the base hospital and began shooting, starting with the psychiatrist and psychologist who had been treating him and recommended the discharge. Six people died, more than 20 were injured. Here’s an eyewitness account. Melberg was shot dead by an off-duty security forces member before he could kill anyone else, thank goodness. But if anyone is grumbling about being trapped on base for several hours yesterday, or about the traffic jam to get off base (up to 30 minutes) when the lockdown was lifted, stop and think about it: if it HAD been a real shooter, that lockdown order might have saved your life.