US Air Force base in Florida briefly locked down over report of armed suspect

Officials wouldn't immediately say why MacDill, the headquarters for the US Central Command and US Special Operations Command, was put on lockdown. PHOTO: AP/WFTS-TV

TAMPA, FLORIDA (AP) - MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, was briefly put on lockdown on Friday morning (Jan 10) after a report of an armed suspect outside the base.

Base officials were assisting local law enforcement in searching for the suspect, spokesman Lt. Brandon Hanner said.

All MacDill gates to the base were reopened except for the one closest to the location where the suspect was seen.

MacDill first responders were on the scene and isolated the response to an area outside one of the base's gates, a news release from the base said.

Traffic was at a standstill on numerous roads around the base, which is near downtown Tampa, news outlets reported.

MacDill is the headquarters for the US Central Command and US Special Operations Command. It is the home of the 6th Air Refueling Wing.

There are more than 15,000 military personnel at the base. A large number of military personnel and their families live on the base in military housing.

Friday's lockdown came a month after 2nd Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old Saudi Air Force officer, killed three US sailors and injured eight other people on Dec 6 at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

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