Osan Air Base lockdown precautionary
SEOUL, South Korea – An installation-wide lockdown at Osan Air Base was lifted around 12:45 p.m. Monday following a security forces sweep of Osan schools after a teacher received a phone call indicating there might be a shooter on base, according to the 51st Fighter Wing.
An earlier post on the wing’s Facebook page said no unusual activity had been reported, and the search for a possible shooter appeared to be largely over.
At 11:58 a.m., a post attributed to Osan American High School Principal Morgan Nugent said a teacher received a call “that sounded automated” claiming an active shooter drill was taking place, and immediately reported the call:
“There was no scheduled school shooter drill on base so we decided to (err) on the side of safety and went into a full school lockdown. Security Forces have responded to the school and are doing a sweep of the whole school and its perimeter. Once we are given an all clear we will go ahead and continue the school day as is and with a chance for a debrief to our kids at the end of the school day. Ultimately though your children are safe and we will continue to keep them safe. Once we are given an all clear we will go ahead and continue the school day as is with a chance for a debrief to our kids at the end of the school day."
Nugent was not immediately available for comment.
Several security forces personnel and vehicles were spotted around 11:15 a.m. at the base’s middle school and high school. The base was otherwise deserted as the season's first snow flurries fell, with a loudspeaker repeating the same message every few minutes in both English and Korean: “Lockdown, lockdown, lockdown. Seek safety and shelter.”
A 12:21 p.m. post said sweeps were 90 percent complete at the high school, 75 percent at the middle school and 50 percent complete at the elementary school.
Wing spokesman 1st Lt. Brandon Baccam said officials were still waiting on the all-clear from security forces and could not confirm whether the incident involved an actual shooter.
The 51st Security Forces Squadron practiced responding to a live shooting situation in mid-November, using Osan Middle School as the setting for a mock shooting. Responders practiced clearing the building and used rubber bullets during the exercise to make sure there were no injuries, according to the wing’s website.
Armando Limon contributed to this story.