On an August morning at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the medical treatment facility was holding a mass casualty drill. Personnel acting as the injured streamed in.
Across the base, unbeknownst to the medical staff, a second active shooter drill was taking place, with a second set of people pretending to be injured.
Then a real injured person came on the scene: someone who worked at the medical facility hurt their ankle jogging on base, and called another employee screaming and crying.
…In the confusion, someone in the emergency room called the Base Defense Operations Center reporting a real active shooter. Events spiraled from there.
“A breakdown of communication led to a completely uncoordinated and ineffective combined response that could have resulted in serious injury or property damage,” the Air Force said in a report summarizing the findings of its investigation into the incident.
…Units from the Dayton area and the state of Ohio responded en masse.
At the same time, authorities on base requested a SWAT team.
…Air Force security went into the hospital. And when one airman encountered a locked door, five shots were fired.
Other people in the hospital heard those shots, and more calls went out to 911.
Though the incident commander quickly learned that Air Force security had fired the shots, 50 other civilian responders didn’t get the message, the report said, “breached the front door of the hospital and entered with weapons drawn.”