New Wright-Patt leader says he relied on base’s experts during active shooter scare


Col. Thomas P. Sherman never expected to be dealing with an active shooter scare just weeks after taking over as the commander of the 88th Air Base Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base but he said it was something he and the rest of the 27,000 workers at the military installation were prepared for.

Sherman took over as commander on June 19, about 45 days before an Aug. 2 active shooter incident closed base gates and plunged the site into nearly three hours of fear and uncertainty.

“The Air Force does a pretty darn good job to prepare us as best they can,” Sherman told the Dayton Daily News on Thursday. “It’s the moment that those things happen that you have to really rely on experience and you have to truly rely on the experts you have around you because it is about utilizing that expertise. They’re the ones that understand the base, they understand the nuances and they’re experts at their craft.”

» RELATED: Wright-Patt active shooter scare remains unclear a month later

Someone from inside Wright-Patterson Medical Center called 911 around 12:40 p.m. on Aug. 2.

It’s unclear what that initial 911 caller reported but the call went to the base’s operation center and prompted Wright-Patt’s security forces and fire department to respond. In response to the 911 call, Wright-Patt security forces began a systematic sweep and clear of the entire hospital facility.

Citing the federal Freedom of Information Act, this newspaper requested 911 calls routed through the base’s emergency operation center a little more than a month ago.

On the day of the incident, the base was conducting active shooter training. One member of the base’s security team was injured with minor lacerations during the scare, base officials have said.

During the sweep, the base’s security forces fired a weapon in an attempt to breach a locked door in the medical center. Photos circulating on social media that were obtained by this newspaper appear to show bullet-sized holes in a wall inside a medical center room.

That use of a firearm is now under investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

» RELATED: Ohio State wants to prevent Oklahoma from trademarking block ‘O’ logo

Now, Sherman and the review board he ordered are looking to answer why the false alarm happened in the first place and how best they can respond next time.

The board is conducing a “holistic” review of the incident but Sherman said it will specifically look at everything from “the timeline of events from start to finish to how do we manage our exercise processes and was that something that potentially influenced this.”

” Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is come up with some individual management-level takeaways or lessons learned from across the spectrum,” Sherman said.

Despite the Aug. 2 incident, Sherman said he’s been able to begin to settle into his new job and that the Dayton area has become his new home. He’s gotten to visit a number of restaurants and local attractions and said he’s noticed a “genuine kindness” from the people he’s met in the Miami Valley.

But, the commander said he still has “an amazing amount of learning” to do when it comes to getting to know the community and the base.

“I think that learning process is going to go on for some time,” he said. “But, I think it needs to.”

FIVE FAST READS

Area college welcomes largest freshmen class in its history

Turner calls Trump ‘shortsighted’ over cancelled pay raise for federal workers

Wright State faculty union threatens to strike in October

Trump’s Space Force proposal could impact NASIC at Wright-Patt

WATCH: Police body camera footage shows chaos at UD on St. Patrick’s Day

THANKS FOR READING

The Dayton Daily News is committed to bringing you independent, in-depth local stories. Help support our journalism by signing up for a print or digital subscription.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Atlanta rapper charged with trafficking $4M worth of cocaine
Atlanta rapper charged with trafficking $4M worth of cocaine

A rapper from Atlanta was indicted on federal drug trafficking charges after he was part of a multistate distribution ring, investigators said. Tommie Walker -- also known as "Columbia BT" -- and Juan Carlos Garcia-Martinez were arraigned on Friday. They face federal charges of drug trafficking and possession with intent to distribute cocaine...
Kasich: Ohio’s gun background check system has ‘significant gaps’
Kasich: Ohio’s gun background check system has ‘significant gaps’

Ohio’s system for keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is riddled with problems, according to a new report released Monday by the Kasich administration. Law enforcement agencies and courts across the state routinely fail to upload data that gets added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System so that people subject...
How virtual and augmented reality are changing the way you shop
How virtual and augmented reality are changing the way you shop

See what new curtains, a new refrigerator or a new couch look like in your own home before you buy them with virtual or augmented reality applications created by a company based in the Miami Valley. Marxent is working with big name retailers, like Macy’s, to give customers a new shopping experience.  With a virtual reality headset over his...
All you need to know about the Harvest Moon
All you need to know about the Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon will grace the night sky Monday, casting a glow in the Northern Hemisphere that skywatchers anticipate every year - but the event was once much more than celestial entertainment. The full moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox is known as the Harvest Moon, and usually that happens in September, according to Earthsky.org...
Clark County resident, Xenia teacher sentenced in Logan County
Clark County resident, Xenia teacher sentenced in Logan County

A Clark County resident and Xenia teacher who pleaded guilty to a charge in Logan County was sentenced Monday. Brandon Murray pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted abduction in Logan County Common Pleas Court, according to online records. He was sentenced to 120 days in the county jail, five years of community control and $2,500 in fines plus court...
More Stories