Armed Man Arrested at State Capitol Returned Hours Later

Wisconsin man had an assault rifle the second time
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 5, 2023 1:35 PM CDT
Armed Man Detained at State Capitol Twice in a Day
Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers speaks at a campaign stop, Oct. 27, 2022, in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

A man illegally brought a handgun into the Wisconsin Capitol, demanding to see Gov. Tony Evers, and returned at night with an assault rifle after posting bail, a spokesperson for the state said Thursday. The man, who was shirtless and had a holstered handgun, approached the governor's office on the first floor of the Capitol around 2pm Wednesday, state Department of Administration spokesperson Tatyana Warrick said. The man was demanding to see the governor, who was not in the building at the time, Warrick said.

A Capitol police officer sits at a desk outside a suite of rooms that includes the governor's office, conference room, and offices for the attorney general. The man was taken into custody for openly carrying a firearm in the Capitol, which is against the law, Warrick said. Weapons can be brought into the Capitol if they are concealed and the person has a valid permit. The man arrested did not have a concealed carry permit, Warrick said. The man was booked into the Dane Count Jail but later posted bail. He returned to the outside of the Capitol shortly before 9pm with an assault-style rifle, Warrick said. The building closes to the public at 6pm. He again demanded to see the governor and was taken into custody.

Warrick said police took the man into protective custody for a psychiatric evaluation based on "concerning" statements he made, the Washington Post reports. The incident is just the latest in a series of violent threats against public officials, the AP reports. Evers, a Democrat, was on a hit list of a gunman suspected of fatally shooting a retired county judge at his Wisconsin home in 2022. Others on that list included Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. (More Wisconsin stories.)

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