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Man shot by security forces dies after intruding into Andersen Air Force Base on Guam

Guam EPA in January 2019 fined Andersen Air Force Base for using chlorine tablets meant for swimming pools in a portion of its drinking water.

STARS AND STRIPES

By MATTHEW M. BURKE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 16, 2019

An intruder who fled from police into Andersen Air Force Base Wednesday evening and stabbed a Defense Department civilian security forces member has died from gunshot wounds inflicted by security forces.

The unnamed man was shot while being apprehended at approximately 6:35 a.m. Thursday, Air Force officials said in two statements Thursday. He had reportedly stabbed an unnamed civilian guard attached to base security forces who was attempting to apprehend him, prompting the guard to open fire.

The intruder was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:52 a.m. while being treated by emergency medical personnel, the statements said. The Air Force has not released the name of either individual involved, nor the condition of the security forces member.

“While apprehending a suspect, our defenders were compelled to use lethal force for their own defense, resulting in the death of the suspect,” 36th Wing commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Gentry Boswell said in the statements. “We value the importance of every life and are thankful for the courage our Defenders display in the safe conduct of their duties protecting our personnel and families.”

The incident began Wednesday evening while Guam Police were investigating a reported home invasion on Ypao Road in Tamuning, Guam’s Pacific Daily News reported, citing police sources. Officers leaving the scene spotted the suspect’s vehicle. A high-speed chase ensued.

The driver attempted to force his way through Andersen’s front gate at approximately 7:35 p.m. but crashed into emergency defensive barriers deployed by members of the 36th Security Forces Squadron, the statements said. He then abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot into a jungle area on-base.

The base was locked down following the incident and Guam Police and security forces began searching for the infiltrator, the statements said. The intruder made attempts to evade jungle patrols.

In the meantime, the “all clear” was issued sometime before 2 a.m. Thursday and normal base operations resumed, Air Force officials wrote on Facebook. The base’s main gate was closed again Thursday morning as the intruder’s arrest unfolded.

When the infiltrator was found, he “responded aggressively attacking the arresting officers and stabbed a Department of Defense civilian security forces member,” the statements said. The man was then shot by the officer in “self-defense.”

Earlier Air Force statements said the intruder was taken to a civilian hospital after the shooting.

Air Force officials declined to comment further Friday morning. Guam Police’s public information officer did not answer several calls seeking further information Thursday or Friday.

“Our top priority is to ensure the safety of Team Andersen, our service members and families,” Boswell said in the statements. “We are proud of our partnerships in place and for the swift actions taken by our security forces members in conjunction with local law enforcement.”

The incident and the use of force remains under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Air Force Office of Special Investigation, Andersen security forces and Guam Police, Thursday’s statements said.

burke.matt@stripes.com
Twitter: @MatthewMBurke1

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