Apparent False Active Shooter Report Shuts Down Washington Navy Yard

  • In this Sept. 19, 2013 file photo. military personnel walks past an entrance to the Washington Navy Yard in Washington. An official says shots have been reported in a building on the Washington Navy Yard campus. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
    In this Sept. 19, 2013 file photo. military personnel walks past an entrance to the Washington Navy Yard in Washington. An official says shots have been reported in a building on the Washington Navy Yard campus. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
  • Troops move carrying guns walk at the Navy Yard in Washington, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A lockdown is underway on the entire Washington Navy Yard campus after a report of shots fired. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Troops move carrying guns walk at the Navy Yard in Washington, Thursday, July 2, 2015. A lockdown is underway on the entire Washington Navy Yard campus after a report of shots fired. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
  • A large police presence gathers along M St. in Southeast Washington, Thursday, July 2, 2015, after an official said shots have been reported in a building on the Washington Navy Yard campus. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    A large police presence gathers along M St. in Southeast Washington, Thursday, July 2, 2015, after an official said shots have been reported in a building on the Washington Navy Yard campus. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Updated 11:15 AM Eastern

The Washington Navy Yard, scene of a deadly shooting rampage in 2013, went on lockdown early Thursday amid a massive security response by several law enforcement agencies to reports of an "active shooter" on the base that later appeared to be unfounded.

An official statement from the Navy confirms that responding investigators found no signs of a shooting, shooter or vicitms. 

"NCIS agents and other law enforcement have completed their inspection of the Humphreys Building (Bldg. 197). All personnel are safe and accounted for," a written statement from Lt. Jacquelin Pau, Navy spokeswoman, said. 

At the same time, Pau indicated that the investigation is still ongoing and that the scene at the Navy Yard remains active. 

"The Washington Navy Yard and law enforcement agencies have trained to respond to this type of situation. This resulted in an organized search of the facilities by first responders, her statement said. 

Alarms sounded across the 41-acre facility, and the Navy told personnel to shelter in place after an unidentified caller told 911 that a man with a gun had been seen in a building on the base in the southeastern section of Washington, D.C., less than a mile from the U.S. Capitol.

At about 9:20 a.m., about two hours after the alert, the Navy issued a statement saying that "no incident can be confirmed yet," although the base was remaining on lockdown.

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Williams, who was at the Navy Yard when a gunman shot dead 12 people and wounded three others in 2013, was among those who were quickly evacuated today under tight security. He told CNN that "I did not hear gunshots."

Metro Police, U.S. Park Service Police, U.S. Marshals and Navy security concentrated a sweep of the base on Building 197, scene of the 2013 shootings, Williams said. "They searched the building, nothing was found," he said.

Earlier, Lt. Ryan Benitez, a Navy spokeswoman, said, "We're telling people to remain in place, the gates are closed," as police shut down local streets in the emergency response.

In 2013, a gunman who had been hired for maintenance work got into Building 197 and killed 12 people and injured three others before he was fatally shot by a Washington Metropolitan police officer.

The alert at the Navy Yard followed on warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI of the possibility of an ISIS-directed or inspired terror attack in the U.S. over the July 4th weekend.

The Navy Yard incident also triggered precautionary security moves at other federal facilities across Washington, D.C. At the White House, the pedestrian walkway on Pennsylvania Avenue on the north front of the White House was shut down.

--- Original story, 8:30 AM Eastern

The Washington Navy Yard, scene of a deadly shooting rampage in 2013, went on lockdown early Thursday and Metro police blocked off local streets on reports that an "active shooter" might be on the base, the Navy and Metro police said.

"We're telling people to remain in place, the gates are closed," said Lt. Ryan Benitez, a Navy spokeswoman. She said Navy security and local law enforcement were responding to reports of the possibility of an "active shooter" at the Navy Yard in the southeastern section of Washington, D.C.

Alarms were sounding across the base to shelter in place as Metro and U.S. Park Service police, and U.S. Marshalls, rushed to join Navy security in a sweep of the 41-acre facility less than a mile from the U.S. Capitol. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

In 2013, a gunman shot who got into a building at the Navy Yard killed 12 people and injured three others. He was fatally shot by a Washington Metropolitan police officer.

The alert followed on warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI of the possibility of an ISIS directed or inspired terror attack in the U.S. over the July 4th weekend.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@military.com.

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