NJ Naval base locked down due to ‘several simultaneous incidents’

By David Edwards
Monday, June 21, 2010 11:32 EDT
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Update: Lockdown lifted, CBS News reports FedEx driver taken into custody

It appears that much ado about largely nothing led to a lockdown at a US military base Monday morning, and it took hours for authorities to specify what happened to the media, leading to a series of conflicting news reports.

The Associated Press reports, “A military spokeswoman says a delivery driver with a gun and something that sounded like gunfire caused officials to lock down a Navy base in Lakehurst, NJ.”

Base spokeswoman Angel Lopez says security forces detained a delivery driver at one base entrance gate after he told them that he had a gun for personal protection. He was given a ticket and released.

Around the same time, Lopez says someone reported hearing shots fired at another entrance gate. Lopez says security forces did not find any sign that a gun had been fired and believe the report was unfounded.

CBS News reports, “Officials lifted a lockdown that lasted a little more than two hours at a Naval air base in Lakehurst on Monday morning after a FedEx truck driver enterting the base was found with a handgun.”

Two separate incidents took place, CBS 2 learned. Sources said a FedEx driver was taken into custody at a commercial delivery gate after security found a 9 mm firearm in the truck. No shots were fired.

A second incident allegedly occurred at a non-commercial gate, though there’s no word as to what happened at that gate.

A US military base in New Jersey has been placed on “lockdown” for as yet unspecified reasons.

The Star-Ledger reportes:

The Lakehurst section of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is on lockdown but base officials are not yet saying what led to the locked gates.

Senior Airman David Carbajal said “several simultaneous incidents” prompted the lockdown at 9:15 a.m. today. He said he did not know what those incidents were.

Carbajal said the incidents did not involve a shooter and no one has been shot, but he could not confirm whether there were reports of shots fired.

However, AP reports, “Carbajal says no shots were fired.”

Photo from Star-Ledger:

CNN noted that there were “conflicting” reports.

According to the Trentonian,

Military officials have lifted a lockdown that was in effect since 9:15 a.m. today at the Naval Air Engineering Center at Lakehurst, according to CBS.

The lockdown went into effect amid reports of shots being fired by a perpetrator.

A manhunt with a K-9 unit was under way for a man who jumped the naval station’s fence.

NBC News adds,

“We are no longer on lockdown,” the public affairs office told NBC News.

A press release with more details would be released later in the day, a spokesman said.

Media Relations Coordinator Senior Airman David Carbajal earlier told The Associated Press that there were several incidents they he could not provide any more information about.

New Jersey’s APP.com reports, “At 9:30 a.m., the 87th Security Forces Squadron responded to simultaneous incidents on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Due to security forces quick and timely response, base security ensured the incident was contained. No personnel were in danger at any time and no injuries have been reported.”

There was much activity at Route 547 and Route 571, with both Jackson and
Manchester police at the scene. An Army Black Hawk helicopter (UH-60) was seen flying over the treeline.

Local police had cars and barricades blocking off Route 571 west of of Route 70. ‘At As of noon, at the intersection of Route 547 and Ridgeway Road, traffic was moving although there was still much congestion, as agencies appeared to be pulling operations back.

A CBS affiliate adds, “The NAVAIR Lakehurst base is the same site where the Hindenburg crashed in 1937. It currently employs about 3,500 people worldwide and is located about 75 miles south of New York City.”

The AP also notes that “one of its main missions relates to the equipment used to launch aircraft from carriers at sea.”

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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