Capitol Police: 'Bogus Call' Caused Lockdown

'We got nobody who actually heard shots and certainly no victims'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2023 2:35 PM CDT
Updated Aug 2, 2023 4:27 PM CDT
Capitol Police Issue Shelter-in-Place Order
US Capitol Police officers watch a doorway into the Russell Senate Office Building, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

This story has been updated with new developments. Authorities issued a shelter-in-place order and searched Senate office buildings near the US Capitol Wednesday afternoon after a report of an active shooter. The US Capitol Police announced on the X social media platform that the security response was prompted by a "concerning 911 call" regarding a "possible active shooter." But a floor-by-floor search of the three buildings found nothing, and Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the cause of the security scramble "may have been a bogus call," the AP reports. "We found nothing concerning," he said. "We got nobody who actually heard shots and certainly no victims."

The lockdown started when local police received a call around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon warning of a "heavyset Hispanic male wearing body armor" inside the Hart Senate Office Building, one of three structures near the Capitol housing offices for senators and their staffs. Capitol Police began a search, going floor by floor through the massive buildings. Inside the Russell Senate Office Building, officers evacuated the hallways and shouted at people to run outside and away from the building. Staff and journalists working in the building received an email instructing them to take shelter in a locked room, remain quiet, and silence all electronics.

Manger said about 90 minutes later that all three Senate office buildings had been cleared and the call appeared to have been false. Both the House and the Senate are currently on recess so the buildings are less crowded than usual. The alert came amid tightened security ahead of Donald Trump's expected court appearance Thursday, NBC Washington reports. Manger said Washington's multiple law enforcement agencies had been planning "for a couple weeks now" for a possible indictment and had "a security plan in place" in case Trump supporters attempt to disrupt the legal proceedings. (More Capitol Police stories.)

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