False Reports of Gunman on Dover Air Force Base - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

False Reports of Gunman on Dover Air Force Base

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- During a planned active shooter practice drill at the Dover Air Force Base on Thursday morning, an unrelated series of events led to many believing there was an actual gunman on base.

"Today, a series of unrelated circumstances caused us to implement an identical set of unplanned security measures. Luckily, no one was ever in any actual danger," said Col. Rick Moore, 436th AW Commander.   

Military personnel and visitors were told ahead of the exercise that there could be simulated explosions, smoke and role players with fake injuries.

People like Dot Butler said she heard loud sirens and did not know what was going on when she stepped onto her South State Street porch.

"It must be a nuclear alarm or drill or something, but it just scared the life out of me," said Butler.

Others who work near the base say they heard information about a drill from military customers.  

"Then they called after about 20 minutes and said, 'We still want our lunch, but we're on lockdown.' But they said, 'But we will be there," said Denise Hyland, owner of Capriotti's Sandwich Shop in Dover.

Sirens heard sent chills through Butler.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, what is coming off of the base. Is the world coming to an end or what?'" Butler said.

In a statement, Moore said "exercises like this allow us to hone our skills so that we may better serve our community. We appreciate everyone's understanding and cooperation." 

While there was no actual gunman on base, officials say Thursday's exercise proved that they can step up to protect the community.

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