(WREG-TV) For an hour, the Millington Naval Base was on lock-down while authorities searched for the shooter we now know was Amos Patton.
For that entire time, no one could leave or enter the base.
The lock-down left several people waiting for any kind of information about what was going on.
A Millington waitress tells us how she was able to keep in touch and relay information to her mother, who was caught up in the lock-down.
Aleasha Spradley put on her apron and began to wait tables in Millington when her cellphone vibrated and a text from her mom started her world spinning.
“She sent a text message, it was a mass text to me and my family, saying we have an active shooter on or near the base and they were on lock-down,” Aleasha said.
Seconds later, Old Timers Restaurant was buzzing when word spread the Navy base was locked down and a shooter was loose.
As people called coworkers and friends, Aleasha tried to focus on turnip greens and cornbread.
But her mind was on the constant buzz in her apron pocket — all texts from her mom and family.
“All I could think about was there was a chance my mom was going to die, or could possibly die,” Aleasha says.
Alerts warned base employees this was not a drill, people relayed messages back and forth across social networks, phone calls, text messages, and even emails
Wayne Vincent, an 86-year-old World War II vet carries a cellphone, but he rarely uses it.
He found out what happened when he got home and watched the news.
“I’m not twitting and all that stuff,” he says.
Aleasha says even though she was afraid for her mom’s safety, fear didn’t change her life.
You can’t really not go to work everyday because you’re afraid somebody is going to shoot you or not send your kids to school because you’re afraid somebody is going to shoot them,” Aleasha says. “I mean, life goes on.”
No one who works on the Navy base was allowed to speak to the media.
A Navy base spokesman says it’s too soon to decide if there will be any security changes.
Regular safety drills help employees know exactly what to do when there’s a threat.