Armed man sparks siege at US Air Force base
An airman facing possible discharge barricaded himself in a building on a Colorado air force base with a gun on Monday.
By Raf Sanchez, Washington
8:26PM GMT 21 Nov 2011
The airman barricaded himself in a deployment processing building at Schriever Air Force Base at about 10 am local time and was still there about four hours later as negotiators spoke with him, base spokeswoman Lieutenant Marie Denson said.
“They are just trying to resolve this as safely as possible, as long as that takes,” Denson said.
Denson said the 21-year-old airman, whose name was not immediately released, had been facing legal action in civilian court and a possible discharge.
He had been in the service for two years and nine months and had his own handgun as a member of “security services” for the base, Denson said.
She had no further details on that legal action .
Schriever Air Force Base spokeswoman Staff Sergeant Patrice Clarke said the airman was armed during the standoff but had not fired his weapon.
“He has a personal handgun. There have not been any shots fired,” Clarke said.
First responders have secured the base, south of Denver, and have evacuated the building, according to the base.
Denson said that, while Schriever Air Force Base houses military satellite operations, those facilities were in a separate restricted area and not affected by the standoff.
“There is no threat to the base or change in the mission,” she said.
A spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff’s office, Sergeant Mike Schaller, said the office had sent a negotiator to the scene.
“The security of Schriever personnel and their families is paramount. We are taking every precaution to ensure their safety,” Colonel James P. Ross, 50th Space Wing commander, said in a statement.