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Los Angeles Air Force Base lockdown lifted; no arrests, no injuries

L.A. Air Force Base on lockdown

An hours-long lockdown at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo was lifted shortly before 6 p.m. with no arrests made, base spokeswoman Leslie Jewell confirmed. 

The all-clear was given after a building-by-building search prompted by a report of a suspicious person wearing a vest or backpack with wires displayed.



An earlier version of this post gave Tricia Peña's first name as Trina.


El Segundo police were called to the base at 2:27 p.m. after an initial report of an active shooter, El Segundo Police Capt. Brian Evanski said. But that report was scaled back as units rolled to the scene. Evanski said shortly before 4 p.m. that there were no reports of shots fired or injuries.

Instead, Evanski said, a suspicious person had been seen on the base. The person was reportedly wearing camouflage and had either a vest or a backpack —  Evanski said there were conflicting reports as to which — with what appeared to be wires and magazines for a firearm sticking out.

“We take these very seriously,” Evanski said. “We respond with appropriate resources, and we always hope for the best outcome.”

A spokeswoman at the base confirmed that it was sealed off, but said she had no further information. She said the lockdown was announced over loudspeakers about 1:45 p.m.

At one point, at least two sheriff’s helicopters could be seen flying over the base as police closed streets in the area, including Douglas Street and El Segundo and Aviation boulevards. Evanski said units from the Hawthorne and Manhattan Beach police departments were there, as well as other agencies across the South Bay.

But by late afternoon, several police and firefighters had cleared the scene.

Aerospace Corp., which is linked to the base by a 135-foot bridge over El Segundo Boulevard, also closed its main gate at the request of El Segundo police, according to a spokesman there. The gate was reopened a few hours later.

Tricia Peña, 32, of Hawthorne was among a handful of people trying to get inside the base. She had come to pick up her 21-month-old child from a daycare facility on base.

“I’m nervous,” she said. “I hope everything is OK.”

Another mother, Mary Cardenas, also 32, wiped tears from her eyes as she anxiously awaited more information. She said her husband works on the base, but left to get lunch when the lockdown was initiated.

Cardenas said the daycare staff allowed her to speak to her 5-year-old daughter, who remained in the facility.

"I told her I love her and that she was going to stay there a little longer," Cardenas said. 

When her daughter asked why, Cardenas said, she told her she would be able to spend more time with friends.

"What else can you tell a 5-year-old?" she said. "I tried to stay calm."

Times staff writer W.J. Hennigan contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times


3:56 p.m. This story was updated with new information.

4:19 p.m. Story updated with comments from police and a bystander at the scene.

6:57 p.m. This story updated with the lockdown lifted.