Two active-duty airmen from the 319th Reconnaissance Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota are dead after an early-morning shooting at the base.
The base said in a release that the shooting happened at about 4:30 a.m., and that emergency services at the base responded to the scene. Grand Forks said the situation is “contained,” and that there is not believed to be any further risk to personnel.
The release did not say whether either of the two airmen killed are believed to be the shooter. Staff Sgt. Elijah Tiggs, a spokesman for the wing, said the shooting took place in one of the dorms on base.
Tiggs said the Office of Special Investigations and security forces responded to the scene, but that he could not say anything further because an investigation is ongoing.
The contacts between the shooter, Mohammed Alshamrani, and the al-Qaida operative were discovered on the shooter's phone, according to the official.
“Out of respect for their families, the names and units of the victims will be withheld until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification,” Grand Forks said in the release. “We ask for the time and space needed to make these proper notifications through official channels.”
The air base’s commander, Col. Cameron S. Pringle, later told reporters the two airmen died while in a dormitory, but he did not give details about what led up to the shooting, KVRR-TV reported.
“We deeply regret this loss, and certainly, our hearts and thoughts are with those families," Pringle said. He said the base dormitories are safe.
The base specializes in unmanned aircraft operations and is located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Grand Forks. The base is home to about 1,600 military members and 900 civilian employees, Tiggs said.
This is a developing story. Please stay with Air Force Times for updates. Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.