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2 airmen dead in shooting on Air Force base in North Dakota

State flags lead up to the main gate of Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, Oct. 31, 2019. The base is home to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing, which was re-designated from the 319th Air Base Wing in June of 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brody Katka)
June 01, 2020

A shooting took place at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota early Monday morning, leaving two active-duty airmen dead.

The shooting took place in the base’s dorms at 4:30 a.m. CDT, and a statement from the base posted at 8:35 a.m. called the incident contained with no further risk to the public.

It’s not yet clear what led to the incident, and details were not provided on how the airmen were killed.

The two victims were members of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing. Their names will not be released until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification.

“Our community has been through a lot in recent days, and weeks, and months. We’d like to ask for your continued patience and understanding as we work through the next of kin notifications,” 319th Reconnaissance Wing Commander Col. Cameron Pringle said during a press conference on Monday.

“We will care for our Airmen, their families, and our community. We will get the mission done, because we are the warriors of the North, and we will get through this together.”

Base medical teams were deployed, as well as emergency mental health services for those impacted by the incident.

“Let me be clear, our installation is safe,” Pringle added.

In June 2019, the 319th Reconnaissance Wing was designated after it was formerly known as the 319th Air Base Wing. The designation aligned the 69th Reconnaissance Group with the 319th at Grand Forks. Previously, the 69th was aligned with Beale Air Force Base’s 9th Reconnaissance Wing.

The 319th is comprised of 2,000 airmen and now supports the 69th’s RQ-4 Global Hawk drone mission. It also supports the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Air and Marine–North Dakota Air Branch, which operates MQ-9 Predator drones.