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A U.S. Air Force helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at a Virginia airport after someone shot at it, injuring one of the pilots on board.
According to a report from CNN, the UH-1N was flying 10 miles northwest of Manassas, Virginia on a routine training mission at an altitude of 1,000 feet when the incident happened. The crew was able to land the helicopter safely at the Manassas Regional Airport, which is just west of Washington, D.C.
The injured pilot, who has not been identified, was taken to a nearby hospital where their injuries were treated. The pilot has since been released. According to military officials, the incident is now under FBI and Air Force investigation.
Investigators need to determine if the helicopter was deliberately shot at or if someone was randomly shooting into the air and the bullet just so happened to fly in the helicopter’s general direction.
In addition, the aircraft will be closely inspected for any other damage that might have resulted from the incident. Air Force officials said in a statement:
“Initial findings are that the helicopter was struck by a bullet resulting in a minor injury to an aircrew member and damage to the aircraft.”
The FBI’s Washington Field Office said in a statement: “The FBI has dispatched Special Agents and its Evidence Response Team to the Manassas Airport after receiving reports that a helicopter was shot at from the ground nearby.”
Airport operations officer Richard Allabaugh said that the Manassas Regional Airport received a call around 12:40 p.m. alerting them that a military helicopter was inbound and that paramedics were on their way.
The US Air Force 316th wing only confirmed an incident occurred and that the helicopter made an emergency landing on Monday. The statement read:
“A UH-1N Huey helicopter assigned to the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Joint Base Andrews conducted an emergency landing at 12:43 p.m. on August 10th in Manassas, VA during a routine training mission.”
The statement added: “The Office of Special Investigations is fully engaged with our FBI colleagues on this incident. OSI take threats to our Airmen and our resources very seriously. As this is an ongoing investigation, no further investigative details can be released at this time.”
According to the Air Force District of Washington’s website, the 1st Helicopter Squadron has crews on alert around the clock for several vital missions, such as providing airlift for distinguished visitors.
The squadron also stays ready to provide medical evacuation during public events such as the Joint Andrews Service Open House as well as helping maintain continuity of operations for the Air Force District of Washington.
Back in September 11, 2001, helicopters from the squadron landed at the Pentagon to evacuate senior Defense leadership. The FBI Washington Field Office said in their statement:
“WFO is working jointly with our law enforcement partners, including Air Force Office of Special Investigations, to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident. One individual in the helicopter sustained a non-threatening injury, for which he was treated and subsequently released from the hospital.”
They added: “The FBI asks that anyone near this area at the time of the incident who may have information please call the FBI at 202-278-2000.”
Here is an article from Law Enforcement Today about the recent scare of an armed gunman that was shot by the U.S. Secret Service: A scare at the White House Monday evening… where an armed gunman was reportedly shot by the U.S. Secret Service.
During the incident, President Trump was rushed out of a press conference into the Oval Office. He returned shortly after and picked up where he left off. “It seems to be very well under control,” he said after returning. “But there was an actual shooting, and somebody has been taken to the hospital. I don’t know the condition of the person.”
The President said he wasn’t brought to one of the White House bunkers, but rather taken to the Oval Office. That room is bulletproof and supposed to withstand small explosive munitions as well.
“I feel very safe with Secret Service, they’re fantastic people,” President Trump said. “They just wanted me to step aside for a little while to make sure that everything was cleared outside.”
According to ABC News, the shooting happened on 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue when the suspect opened fired on a non-White House employee. Apparently, that’s when a Uniformed Secret Service officer returned fire.
The Secret Service reportedly called for an ambulance at 5:55 p.m. and the suspect, an adult male, was transported to a hospital in critical condition with one gunshot wound to the upper body. “It’s unfortunate that this is the world, but the world has always been a dangerous place.
It’s not something that’s unique,” President Trump added. ABC News asked what the Secret Service agent told President Trump when he was approached mid-sentence.
President Trump said: “Just told me when he came up, you pretty much saw it like I did. He said, ‘Sir, could you please come with me?’ So, you were surprised. I was surprised, also.
I think it’s probably it’s pretty unusual but very, very professional people, they all do a fantastic job, as you know.”
He said he does not think the suspect “breached anything.”
“It was on the outside grounds, so I don’t believe anything was breached. I asked that question. They were relatively far away,” President Trump said. Social media swirled with concern Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after President Trump made troubling remarks appearing to be about his own safety during a speech at the Whirlpool manufacturing plant in Clyde, Ohio.
Part of the President’s message was: “So, I have a lot of enemies out there right now. This might be the last time you see me for a while. A lot of very, very rich enemies and they are not happy with what I am doing.” One Twitter user who goes by “Rabbit” tweeted: “Did President Trump just call his own assassination attempt?”
Another user who goes by the name of “Bob,” said: “It’s time to recognize the true nature of the battles DT has fought on behalf of the everyday Citizen of the USA, attacked relentlessly from all sides, mortals would have crumbled under the onslaught.”
The outpouring of support is all in response to the statements that some Americans are concerned point to a security threat for the President.
President Trump seemed to go off script with his comments Thursday while speaking to factory workers about prescription drug pricing. Appearing to double down on the remarks, he continued: “But I figure we have one chance to do it, and no other President is going to do what I do. No other President would do a favored nation, a rebate, a buy from other nations at much less cost.
Nobody. And there are a lot of unhappy people, and they’re very rich people, and they’re very unhappy.” The White House has yet to clarify or address President Trump’s remark.
Almost immediately, it drew international attention and worry from all corners of the globe.
From India, a Twitter user said: “When I first heard him say that I almost cried. It is scary but what needs to be done needs to be done. I’m not an American, I am from India but I’m proud to say I have supported this man from the very beginning and the whole world needs him to drain that swamp. Now more than ever.”
Before his apparently off-the-cuff comments sparked an outpouring, President Trump was scheduled to speak about the 109th anniversary of Whirlpool. He praised the success of the company and its workers and opened by promising to bring millions of jobs and thousands of factories back to American shores.
The President said: “As your President, I have kept every single one of these pledges to the American people and to the American worker, without exception. Everyone has been done.”
He also tackled the ever-present topic of the pandemic and urged political parties to align on COVID-19 related policies. He continued: “We cannot defeat the virus by fighting against each other. Just can’t. There are a lot of different theories and a lot of different ways.
“But, if you look at some of the results, you’ll see some of these states, governor-run, some of the states that are open and run very smart are doing very well, and, in fact, better than strong lockdown states. "While the President’s ominous two-sentence statement prompted questions about whether he will be making public appearances soon, they left little question on the trajectory of his campaign.
On social media Friday afternoon, he touted a strong jobs report for July. It echoed in his closing remarks during Thursday’s speech: “As long as I am President of the United States, I will fight for you with every ounce of energy and strength that I have.
“I will be your voice. I will defend your jobs. I will stand up to the foreign trade cheaters and violators that hate our country. I will never let you down. I will have your back, 100 percent.”