This story will be updated as more information becomes available. Last updated 3:55 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Thursday.
A Virginia Marine base advised all of its personnel to shelter in place Thursday afternoon amid law enforcement activity near on-base housing but has now declared the situation “all clear” and attributed the hubbub to a “possible vehicle backfire.”
“At approximately 12:35 p.m., base security dispatch received a report of five shots fired in vicinity of the Lyman Park housing area behind the commissary,” Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, said in a statement sent to Marine Corps Times at 3:23 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
“Base personnel and residents were notified to shelter in place as units responded. After securing the area, speaking to witnesses and investigating the scene, it was determined that the reports were based on a possible vehicle backfire.”
The base tweeted the initial advisory at 1:19 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Thursday. A 1:33 p.m. tweet from the base clarified that the shelter in place was because of “Law Enforcement activity” and noted that all traffic to and from the base had been halted.
An email sent at 1:30 p.m. or earlier Thursday afternoon by the base commander to senior commanders on base stated, “5 shots were reported off of Adams Street in the Lyman Park Housing Area.”
Marine Corps Times reviewed a screenshot of the email that one Twitter user posted and confirmed with Capt. Michael Curtis, a base spokesman, that the email was authentic.
According to the email, “a white panel van” was reported as having “fired approximately five shots in the air.”
“Vehicles meeting the description are being pulled over and stopped at the gates,” the email stated.
But the statement the base sent later Thursday stressed that there was no evidence of shots having been fired and that no injuries were reported.
The base had declared the situation a “Code Red.”
“Only mission essential personnel are expected to report to work,” the base’s initial tweet read.
At 1:41 p.m., the base tweeted an “ALL CLEAR” message indicating the base was open again, but the base deleted that tweet and clarified eight minutes later that the previous message had been sent in error.
A tweet from the base at 2:02 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time indicated that the law enforcement activity was occurring in the vicinity of Lyman Park, on-base housing.
At 2:50 p.m., the base tweeted that the situation was back to “Code Green” as of 2:30 p.m., that employees were now expected to appear at work on time and that it would release a statement shortly.
Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.