UPDATED: Two dead after shooting at Grand Forks Air Force Base
Two active duty service members are dead following a shooting around 4:30 a.m. Monday, June 1, in a dormitory on Grand Forks Air Force Base. Information about the incident remains limited due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, Col. Cameron Pringle said in a Monday, June 1, press conference.
Two are dead at Grand Forks Air Force Base after a shooting early in the morning of Monday, June 1.
The incident occurred at about 4:30 a.m., according to a statement from the base. It involved two active-duty members of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing. Both died.
The incident occurred in a dormitory at the base.
"We believe this is an isolated incident," Col. Cameron Pringle said during a Monday press conference. "Our community has been through a lot in recent days and weeks and months, and we'd like to ask for your continued patience and understanding as we work through next-of-kin notifications and the investigation."
Base emergency services responded to the scene and, by later in the morning, declared that it was contained and that there was no further risk to other personnel. Base medical teams have deployed disaster mental health workers to care for those impacted.
Lea Greene, a base spokeswoman, told the Herald early Monday morning that the only two people involved in the incident died.
Pringle said information about the incident is limited due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
"This is a small community," Pringle said. "The details of the individuals involved while we're waiting for next of kin notifications, we have to be very careful."
When the Herald asked whether it's common for airmen to be armed in the dormitory at 4:30 a.m., he declined to specifically answer, citing the ongoing investigation. He did offer assurances about the security of the dormitories.
"Our dormitories are safe. We shouldn't worry about the condition of the dormitories," he said. "Our airmen are well cared for and provided with good supervision, and I'm pretty confident our leadership team is going to take care of all of our airmen in the dorms. We'll certainly make sure we're looking into their safety as part of this."
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations will lead the investigation into the shooting, said Grand Forks County Sheriff's Capt. Joel Lloyd, adding the sheriff's office also responded to the shooting Monday morning, and now has two investigators assigned to assist the AFOSI in the investigation.
The sheriff's office commonly assists base emergency services with calls on the base. Which agency leads the investigation is generally determined by whether the suspect is a member of the air force, in which case military police handle the investigation, or civilian, in which case the sheriff's office handles the investigation, Lloyd said.
It's the first violent death related to GFAFB since 2015, when 21-year-old Airman Marcell Travon Willis walked into a Grand Forks Wal-Mart Supercenter and opened fire on employees, killing one and injuring another before turning the gun on himself.
As the AFOSI continues to investigate the incident, mental health services have been made available to other service members and their families living on the base, Pringle said.
"We make personnel and services available to folks in response to an incident like this, as you would expect," Pringle said. "Emergency response care is certainly mobilized in order to respond to an incident like this."