False active shooter alarm sends navy base and downtown Bremerton into lockdown

It was about 9:45 a.m Wednesday when people in downtown Bremerton began hearing alerts and loudspeakers issuing a warning from inside the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard that an active shooter was on base.

“And all of the sudden we heard sirens go off and heard the loudspeakers,” said Mike Hamilton of CI Security a couple of blocks from base. “It was fairly muddled so it was hard to hear. But everybody heard the words active shooter.”

It turned out to be a false alarm but for at least 30 minutes people in downtown Bremerton went into lockdown.

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“The reaction on the street was everybody indoors, everybody’s doors locked. And so the businesses around here all reacted very quickly including us,” Hamilton said.

KIRO 7 contacted the Naval Public Affairs Office who explained it was all a mistake assuring the public,

“There is NO active shooter onboard Naval Base Kitsap and all conditions are normal. The alert was inadvertently triggered during a systems check,” the Navy said in an email statement. “Naval Base Kitsap apologizes for any inconveniences this may have caused”.

Karna Peck runs a business teaching painting just across the street from the base and heard the alert.

“We couldn’t understand it well enough but we knew it was a warning,” Peck said, adding she thought the warning was about an impending nuclear strike. “We all decided to continue painting because if it really is a nuclear thing we can’t really run that fast anyway.”