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Lockdown lifted after reports of ‘shots heard’ at home of US Forces Japan

Airmen prepare an RQ-4 Global Hawk for take off from Yokota Air Base Japan, May 5, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Hudson)

Reports of shots heard on or near the home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo spurred an approximately hourlong lockdown Tuesday.

Starting at 11:26 a.m., the Air Force base was blanketed with “real world” notices of a lockdown on Yokota’s west side, via Facebook, mobile apps and the base-wide public address system.

The 374th Airlift Wing issued a noon statement that unverified “reports of shots heard” were under investigation and that security forces was responding.

“No deaths or injuries have been reported,” it said.

No verified information on where the sound of shots was heard was immediately available.

In an email to parents, Yokota High School principal Priscilla Hill said all students were accounted for.

“I have spoken to security forces twice and they have confirmed that only the west side of the base is on lockdown and movement in all other locations are standard.”

Four of Yokota’s five active gates were closed until 12:23 p.m., when an “all clear” message was sent out. Only the east gate, far from the site of the incident, remained open during the lockdown as lines of traffic formed at the other access points.

Yokota’s west side – separated from the main base by a four-lane highway called Route 16 – is home to housing, an elementary school, childcare and community centers, a bowling alley, vehicle operations and an auto care center, among other facilities.


© 2019 the Stars and Stripes

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