An active shooter was reported on the ground of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon. The facility in Bethesda, Maryland, had the police called to the scene just after 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, and it was also reported that a congressman happened to be on the scene. United States Representative Charles Albert Dutch Ruppersberger III, D-Maryland, was actually confined to a conference room with dozens of other people.
KWTX reported that a building on the campus of Walter Reed Military Medical Center was locked down on Tuesday. Authorities of the center and the Bethesda police were in the process of searching it when the representative sent out a tweet regarding his status and that of many other people.
News 965 reported that police and campus authorities continued searching the campus and began to realize that the reports of an active shooter may have been too quick. The authorities found no evidence of a gunman at Walter Reed, but they wanted everyone to remain sheltered in place.
With that information making its way around the campus, that is why Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger stayed in the conference room with numerous other people.
I am currently at Walter Reed Medical in Bethesda where we've been told there is an active shooter. I am currently safe in a conference room w/ approx 40 others.— Dutch Ruppersberger (@Call_Me_Dutch) November 27, 2018
About half an hour after Ruppersberger’s original tweet regarding his status, his Twitter account issued an update. Obviously, those in the conference room have not received a ton of info regarding the situation as they still weren’t even sure if it was a drill or not.
Rep. Ruppersberger remains sheltered in a back room at Walter Reed. Described mood as calm. Has not been given any additional details but does not believe this to be a drill.— Dutch Ruppersberger (@Call_Me_Dutch) November 27, 2018
As time passed and Walter Reed Military Center remained on lockdown, there were conflicting reports being tossed around social media. Some even said that the campus would keep its gates closed, but that the initial reports state there are no signs of an active shooter.
Megan Cloherty of WTOP is reporting that the basement of Building 19 is where authorities appear to be focused in their search, but they have not yet given a reason as to why.
NSA Naval Support: Initial report of shots was from Building 19 in the basement. That area is cleared. Now working to clear other buildings. #WalterReed is on lockdown. No one in, no one out until the campus is cleared. So far NO INDICATION of a shooter. @WTOP— Megan Cloherty (@ClohertyWTOP) November 27, 2018
Those on campus and inside of buildings on Walter Reed’s campus are still not sure what is going on. Many are witnessing numerous search teams moving around with weapons out and looking for whatever or whoever may have caused the reports from the beginning.
Inside Walter Reed right now after the active shooter announcement. Was looking on Twitter for news and it's filled with people questioning the safety of their loved ones. Building 19 in lockdown. Haven't heard any shots. Multiple agencies responding. Hopefully false alarm. pic.twitter.com/xNDKyEuN56— Lindsey Migliore, DO (@DrMigliore) November 27, 2018
UPDATE at 3:20 p.m. on November 27, 2018
Despite reports that police were responding to an active shooter at Walter Reed Military Center, WJLA is stating that this was just a military exercise.
Numerous people on the campus of the medical facility were hopping on social media as many feared for the safety of their loved ones. WJLA is now reporting that the entire incident was an “exercise” as stated by Lt. Col. Audricia Harris who is a spokesperson for the Department of Defense.
BREAKING: The Pentagon says that active shooter incident at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., was a drill— LIVE Breaking News (@AlBoeNEWS) November 27, 2018
READ MORE: https://t.co/Lc1xWJQGxG
Right before 3:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday afternoon, an “all clear” was given at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, but it appears as if there was never any real danger. The reports of an active shooter were not warranted and the authorities were simply participating in a drill.
Even though a U.S. Representative was confined to a conference room, officials at Walter Reed confirmed it was a drill despite having no idea that it was going to happen.