Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Luke Air Force Base, AZ: Car Runs Security Gate, One Dead

February 23, 2010 12:08 PM EST (Updated: February 23, 2010 12:54 PM EST)
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An incident at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona has left one dead, after a car ran a security gate. The car had previously been reported stolen.

Luke Air Force Base is located located seven miles west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, AZ. The base is named after World War I Medal of Honor recipient and former Phoenix, AZ native, Lieutenant Frank Luke, Jr. Luke was also the first U.S. aviator to receive the Medal of Honor.

The mission statement of Luke Air Force Base, from its website, is "Train the world's greatest F-16 fighter pilots and maintainers, while deploying mission ready warfighters."

The incident happened at about 11 p.m. Monday. The driver and another occupant drove the stolen car through the entrance to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona without stopping as required. Security forces set up a roadblock on a bridge leading to the operational side of the base. When the car drove directly at a security officer, he opened fire, fearing for his life.

The car then crashed. One of the suspects was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unclear if he died as a result of shooting by Luke Air Force Base personnel, or if he died in the crash.

The other suspect was air-lifted to St. Joseph's Hospital. That man reportedly is in serious condition.

Authorities currently believe the Luke Air Force Base incident is not an act of terrorism, simply a car theft gone bad. In the wake of last week's crash of a private plane by Joe Stack into an office building, it's hard to see this without wondering if there is some government fallout involved, however.

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