WASHINGTON, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Police cleared the U.S. Capitol complex on Wednesday and found no gunman or suspicious activity following a report of a possible active shooter that was most likely “bogus,” U.S. Capitol Police Chief, Thomas Manger told reporters.
After about 90 minutes of investigation, police allowed workers in three Senate office buildings adjacent to the US Capitol to return to work.
“I think at this point we can say we have found no confirmation of an active shooter and this may have been a hoax call,” Manger said.
About 200 officers were mobilized to clear the three Senate office buildings on Constitution Avenue. Manger said there was no indication that anyone suspicious was seen nearby.
Manger said Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department received a call reporting a shooter and attempted to contact the first caller without success.
After the call, police urged people inside the Senate office buildings to shelter in place.
The Senate was on summer recess and most lawmakers were not in Washington. However, the convention offices retain reduced on-site staff. There are also typically dozens of workers who staff the Senate cafeterias, coffee shops, and security posts and perform building maintenance, as well as tourists in the Capitol.
Police received the call a day before former President Donald Trump is expected to appear at a federal courthouse just blocks from the Capitol.
On Tuesday, Trump was indicted for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to President Joe Biden.
Security around government buildings at the courthouse and surrounding areas was heightened in anticipation of Trump’s arrival.
“We’re prepared for tomorrow. We’ve been working with our partner agencies … in preparation for when the charge happened,” Manger said.
Reporting by Moira Warburton, Patricia Zengerle, Kanishka Singh and Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Doina Chiacu
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