Police declare reports of shooter in US Senate buildings ‘bogus call’

Police found no shooter, and no one injured after reports of a possible active shooter in the US Capitol complex.

US Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told reporters on Wednesday that nothing concerning had been found after police swept three Senate office buildings. Earlier, US Capitol Police urged people inside Senate office buildings to shelter in place.

A tourist who was visiting the Senate with his family said that they were frightened as the drama unfolded but that the police and Senate staff handled the crisis well.

The US Senate was in summer recess with most lawmakers not in Washington. However, congressional offices retain a skeleton staff on site. There also typically are dozens of workers staffing Senate cafeterias and coffee shops, security posts and working on building maintenance, as well as tourists in the Capitol.

The incident comes amid heightened security concerns created by former President Donald Trump’s indictment on charges relating to his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Trump is due in federal court Thursday just a few blocks from the Capitol.

Manger said Washington’s multiple law enforcement agencies had been planning “for a couple of weeks now” for a possible indictment and had “a security plan in place” in case Trump supporters attempt to disrupt the legal proceedings.

The lockdown started when local police received a call around 02:30 local time on 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.

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