Panic broke out at a sprawling naval medical center in San Diego Tuesday morning as police responded to reports of gunfire at the campus, and the possible threat of an active shooter. Occupants were asked by the hospital complex to evacuate, or shelter in place, while roads were closed and schools placed on lock-down.
But as events unfolded across the morning at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, it remained unclear what actually happened at the campus, and whether or not it constituted an “active shooter” situation. There have been no reports of deaths or injuries.
Capt. Curt Jones, the commanding officer of Naval Base San Diego, told reporters Tuesday morning that the initial report of thee gunshots came from one witness just prior to 8 a.m., local time. Jones added that “as of right now we have found absolutely nothing that would substantiate” a report of an active shooter. A law enforcement official also told NBC that an initial sweep of Building 26 found that no forensic signs any shots had been fired. Jones said sweeps of that building and others were ongoing to ensure that there were no casualties.
“This is a case where we are pursuing the information we have to its logical conclusion,” Capt. Jones said.
Nevertheless, the police reaction was swift and strong, among multiple different law enforcement agencies, after the medical center posted this message to Facebook, warning occupants to “run, hide or fight”:
The San Diego Police Department confirmed that shots were fired at the facility, according to NBC Bay Area, but other details were not immediately available. The station is also reporting that two California Highway Patrol officers were seen entering the facility through an emergency room entrance at about 8:30 a.m. local time, and “by 8:45 a.m., a SWAT truck was seen storming the facility.”
The Naval Medical Center San Diego is located on a sprawling campus with a hospital and other medical facilities, just east of the city’s airport, and northeast of downtown San Diego. The center has more than 6,500 military, civilian, contractor, and volunteer personnel, according to NBC San Diego.
Three San Diego Unified schools were temporarily placed on lockdown, the school district’s Twitter feed reported shortly after 9 a.m. local time. A short time later the lockdown was lifted, but students and staff continued to shelter in place. Classes resumed just before 10 a.m. local time.
We will be updating this breaking news post with more reporting as it becomes available.