Official: Naval base 'gate runner' was just a base worker

Officials say a man who drove onto a naval station north of Chicago without showing credentials, leading to the base being locked down, turned out to be an employee who didn't follow directions

GREAT LAKES, Ill. -- A man who drove onto a naval station north of Chicago without showing credentials early Friday, leading to a lockdown and a warning for personnel to “RUN, HIDE, FIGHT!,” turned out to be an employee who didn't follow directions, officials said.

The “gate runner” at Naval Station Great Lakes ended up being a worker who was authorized to enter the base but who “did not follow directions of the gate sentry," a base spokesman, John Sheppard, said in a news release. The worker was caught a short time after driving onto the base and was questioned, and his Toyota Camry was also found, officials said.

The incident prompted the base to go on total lockdown for much of the morning, but the lockdown was lifted by early afternoon, officials said.

The base posted an alarming alert on its Facebook page after the car drove through the gates shortly after 7 a.m., warning, “RUN, HIDE, FIGHT! ALL PERSONNEL, LOCKDOWN. TAKE COVER IN NEAREST BUILDING OR STRUCTURE. AWAIT INSTRUCTION. ALL GATES ARE CLOSED.”

But the base later posted a more measured statement, calling the incident a “minor situation” in which "No one was harmed and no property was damaged.”

The base, which is located along Lake Michigan about about 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Chicago, will remain on lockdown until the vehicle is located, said Sheppard. He said he could not provide further information.