BY: LUIS MARTINEZ
(WASHINGTON) — The FBI is investigating the shooting of a U.S. Air Force helicopter as it flew over northern Virginia on Monday.
One crew member had a minor injury, according to the FBI and the Air Force. The UH-1N Huey helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at a nearby airport and a bullet was discovered in the airframe.
On Monday afternoon, the helicopter from the 1st Helicopter Squadron at Joint Base Andrews was flying a routine training mission over Middleburg, Virginia, at an altitude of 1,000 feet when it took fire from the ground, said an Air Force spokesperson. McClatchy was the first to report the shooting incident.
Already training for an instrument approach to Manassas Regional Airport, the helicopter quickly diverted to the airport to make an emergency landing.
“The Airport received a call from Manassas Control Tower at 12:20 pm on Monday about a military helicopter inbound that had an on-board emergency and that paramedics would be arriving shortly,” said Pattie Prince, the communications manager for the city of Manassas.
The helicopter landed safely at 12:43 p.m. and “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,” said the Air Force spokesperson.
“The crew member “sustained a non-threatening injury, for which he was treated and subsequently released from the hospital,” said a spokesperson for the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
“The FBI Washington Field Office (WFO) 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,” said the FBI spokesperson.
“WFO is working jointly with our law enforcement partners, including the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident,” said the spokesperson.
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