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Joint Base Andrews went on lockdown following a breach in the base’s security by an armed 17-year-old male just moments after Vice President Kamala Harris and four Cabinet members departed on Marine Two.
The teen was arrested by authorities as another suspect escaped after “plowing through a security checkpoint” on the base Sunday evening, the Daily Mail reported:
The breach prompted a six-hour lockdown of the Maryland base the President and his top officials frequently use when flying out of Washington D.C.
Harris and cabinet members including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had just departed the base after returning from a trip to Selma, Alabama, to mark the anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
“An update from the military facility revealed that the main gates have been opened after a full-sweep declared that the second intruder had left the base and is now on the run,” the report continued.
“A release from Joint Base Andrews said that the 17-year-old who has been arrested remains in custody after being found in possession of a firearm,” it added.
The Daily Mail noted that the incident appears to be one of the most serious breaches of security at the base, which is situated just a few miles outside Washington, D.C., in Prince George’s County, Md.
Just about an hour before the incident, Harris and four Cabinet secretaries were on the base, having returned from Selma, Ala., where they took part in events to commemorate “Bloody Sunday.” The White House said Harris’s entourage landed around 9 p.m. and left shortly thereafter.
Harris left aboard Marine Two and traveled the short distance back to the nation’s capital before the security breach had been made public. The four Cabinet members were Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan.
“I am incredibly proud of the quick actions of our Defenders to immediately deploy the barriers to stop last night’s stolen vehicle and then apprehend one of the individuals that had a weapon,” said Col. Tyler Schaff, 316th Wing and Joint Base Andrews installation commander.
“The Defenders handled the intense situation with discipline and calm professionalism,” he said. “We are also thankful for our partnerships with local authorities, who responded rapidly on base to assist the 316th Security Forces Group throughout the night.”
The Daily Mail adds: “Units from Prince George’s County Police, Maryland State Police, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Office of Special Investigation were among those who worked alongside Joint Base Andrews Defenders to fully clear the base.”
The identity of the second suspect is not known, as of this writing.
“We can confirm that the individual who was apprehended had a weapon, but no shots have been fired,” Joint Base Andrews noted in a Facebook post Sunday evening.
“There is not an active shooter situation at Joint Base Andrews; however, the intruder’s whereabouts are currently unknown.”
The base went on to post an update shortly after midnight.
“Our Security Forces Defenders are continuing to conduct an initial sweep across the installation with base housing as our first priority. After initial sweeps, a deep search will occur across the base if the intruder has not yet been found,” the post noted.
NBC News noted: “Joint Base Andrews is the home of the president’s fixed-wing operations and the aircraft known as Air Force One when the president is on board.”
Harris had another brush with potential disaster on Jan. 6, 2021, when pipe bombs were discovered outside the Democratic National Committee building while she visited.
The bombs were not fake props either. The FBI has described them as “viable” and said they “could have been detonated, resulting in serious injury or death.”