No gunman, gun found at locked down Davis-Monthan

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- The commander of an Air Force base in southern Arizona says no gunman or weapons were found in response to unconfirmed reports of a gunman.

Col. John Cherrie, commander Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on the outskirts of Tucson, says officials were satisfied that the base was safe again after an extensive search at the base.

Cherrie held a two-minute news conference to discuss the five-hour lockdown of the base on Friday. He didn't answer any questions by reporters.

A military official had said earlier that a man with a gun was holed up in a building at the base.

The lockdown at the sprawling facility was prompted by reports of someone with something that looked like a weapon.

The reports prompted a frenzy of activity at the base and in the news media amid unsubstantiated reports that someone had been shot.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A barricade situation had ended at an Air Force base in southern Arizona, but authorities aren't immediately releasing any details Friday.

A military official said earlier that a man with a gun was holed up in a building at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on the outskirts of Tucson and that the base was locked down for several hours.

The base issued a statement saying that its response to the situation had ended, but provided no details on how it was resolved. A press conference on the incident was scheduled for later Friday.

Sgt. Maria Hawke, a Tucson police spokeswoman, said base officials told the police department that the department's SWAT, bomb and hostage negotiation squads no longer needed at the scene. Hawke didn't know how the situation was resolved or whether any arrests were made.

The lockdown at the sprawling facility was prompted by reports of someone with something that looked like a weapon, said Tech Sgt. Russ Martin said. The reports prompted a frenzy of activity at the base and in the news media amid unsubstantiated reports that someone had been shot.

No one was shot or hurt, but the base took extra precaution by locking the facility down and keeping children inside its schools. Students were eventually released around 4:30 p.m.

Davis-Monthan is near the Pima Air & Space Museum and the "boneyard" for old military and government airplanes that is a popular destination for aviation enthusiasts.

The base is the home of the 355th Fighter Wing, and provides attack airpower, combat support and medical forces, according to the base's Facebook page.

Security at military bases has gained more attention in the last two years since an Army major went on a rampage at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009. Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the shooting spree. Investigators have foiled other plots against military bases in other parts of the country since Sept. 11.

---

Associated Press writers contributing to this report include Mark Carlson and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.