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Safety Fears Run High For Those Close To Lackland Shooting

Nerves were rattled inside and outside Lackland Air Force Base as law enforcement looked for an active shooter. Those trying to enter Lackland sat in a quarter-mile line of cars stopped at the entrance. Jacob Trevino waited almost three hours before a lockdown was lifted and he could get to work.

"It’s weird how it happens here on a base. It’s kind of crazy," Trevino said. "They’re here to protect us, and they’re shooting at each other. And then all these houses around here, residences. And then we have a school across the street from the base. Doesn’t make any sense. Why would they do that?"

Valery Soto also waited in her car. She’s a food supervisor at Lackland. She says she woke up this morning to see the building in which she works on the news. She was worried.

"Mainly because the safety-ness of everyone. Also our airmen. We’re here to make sure they’re taken care of," she said.

Still, Soto says she thinks the base is a pretty secure place.

"They do the best they can. They’re always on top of everything," she said.

With two dead, not everyone in the immediate area around Lackland was feeling that secure. Linda Olivarez lives in a home that’s a two minute drive from Lackland. She says she had a knot in her throat when she heard what had happened so close to her house.

I picked up my son from Rayburn Middle School and I’m about to pick up my daughter from Valley High. I’d rather have them with me.
Olivarez says she now has one thing on her mind.

"Moving.  We have some acres in Devine, so I think it’s better off. This was too close to home," she said.

In a briefing with reporters, Brigadier General Robert LaBrutta said the law enforcements' response was rapid and thorough, though he said the investigation will include an examination of whether the two Glock handguns found on the scene were authorized to be carried on based, or whether they somehow slipped through security. 

Louisa Jonas is an independent public radio producer, environmental writer, and radio production teacher based in Baltimore. She is thrilled to have been a PRX STEM Story Project recipient for which she produced a piece about periodical cicadas. Her work includes documentaries about spawning horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds aired on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. Louisa previously worked as the podcast producer at WYPR 88.1FM in Baltimore. There she created and produced two documentary podcast series: Natural Maryland and Ascending: Baltimore School for the Arts. The Nature Conservancy selected her documentaries for their podcast Nature Stories. She has also produced for the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Distillations Podcast. Louisa is editor of the book Backyard Carolina: Two Decades of Public Radio Commentary. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her training also includes journalism fellowships from the Science Literacy Project and the Knight Digital Media Center, both in Berkeley, CA. Most recently she received a journalism fellowship through Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where she traveled to Toolik Field Station in Arctic Alaska to study climate change. In addition to her work as an independent producer, she teaches radio production classes at Howard Community College to a great group of budding journalists. She has worked as an environmental educator and canoe instructor but has yet to convince a great blue heron to squawk for her microphone…she remains undeterred.