Monday's incident isn't first deadly shooting involving Grand Forks airmen

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 8:43 PM CDT
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On Monday, the Grand Forks area dealt with its second deadly shooting in less than a week, prompting the city’s mayor to issue a statement saying he’s devastated and heartbroken.

Two active duty air force personnel were killed in an incident that’s being investigated. This marks at least the fifth shooting in the last decade where an active duty member died, according to the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

“Let me be clear, our installation is safe. We believe this is an isolated incident. Our community has been through a lot,” Col. Cameron S. Pringle of the Grand Forks Air Force Base said.

According to the Colonel, the deadly shooting happened at 4:30 a.m. Monday in the dormitory.

“I would say again. Our dormitories are safe. We shouldn't worry about the condition of the dormitory,” Colonel Pringle said.

He couldn’t say how a gun got inside that area when guns apparently aren’t allowed.

In the last seven months, there have been deadly shootings at two military bases. One in Corpus Christi, Texas and the other in Pensacola, Florida. Terrorism is suspected in both.

The last fatal shooting at the Grand Forks base occurred in 2013 when an airman confronted military police with a handgun and was then killed, according to the public affairs office.

Another deadly incident happened in 2015, but that was off-base. An airman killed a civilian and then died by suicide, according to public affairs.

Colonel Pringle also said he couldn’t release the details of the relationship between the two individuals and how long they’ve been stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base.

He said not until next of kin is notified and the investigation is complete.

The base has made a number of mental health resources available for airmen.

“We have a great team of care providers. Our mental health team is caring for those airmen,” Pringle said.

Their identities should be released by Tuesday.

The other shootings to have occurred were in 2010 and 2011, and in both, the airmen died by suicide, according to Grand Forks Air Force Base.