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Officials: Reports of shooter at Fort Bragg were result of uncoordinated training

By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer (Tribune News Service) | Published: April 25, 2018

Reports of a potential active shooter on Fort Bragg this afternoon were the result of an uncoordinated training exercise, officials said.

The Soldier Support Center off Normandy Drive was evacuated and nearby Albritton Middle School was locked down after Fort Bragg emergency services received several calls reporting a shooter, said Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum.

The Soldier Support Center is one of the tallest buildings on Fort Bragg. Hundreds of troops, civilians and family members work or attend to business there each day.

Officials cordoned off the area, and personnel were advised to evacuate or barricade themselves inside of offices, McCollum said.

But upon responding to the Soldier Support Center, Fort Bragg first responders learned the active shooter scenario was part of a drill, he said. Typically, such drills would be coordinated with Fort Bragg officials.

“Fort Bragg law enforcement did not know of the exercise and got called in,” McCollum said. “We reacted as if it was real.”

The drill took place on the third floor of the Soldier Support Center, which houses numerous agencies. McCollum could not immediately say which organization was responsible for the drill.

“First responders are standing down,” McCollum said shortly after 2:30 p.m.

The response, he said, acted as an impromptu drill for first responders. McCollum said Fort Bragg stood up an emergency operations center and sealed off portions of Normandy Drive.

McCollum thanked the Fort Bragg community for reporting the possible shooter, but warned that others spread information before confirming it.

“We were glad so many people reported what they knew,” he said. “But speculating and spreading rumors added more fear than needed to be.”

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