Quick Takes

No sign of active shooter in U.S. Senate offices after phone threat

By: - August 2, 2023 5:31 pm

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023 speaks to reporters following the evacuation of U.S. Senate office buildings prompted by a report of an active shooter. (Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Capitol police officers on Wednesday found no evidence of an active shooter after several U.S. Senate office buildings were evacuated and Hill staffers were told to shelter in place amid warnings of a security threat.

The Metropolitan Police Department first received a call at 2:30 p.m. about an active shooter in the Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger told reporters at a press conference. Email alerts to Hill staff and media were received at about 2:48 p.m.

“I think at this point, we can say that we’ve found no confirmation that there was an active shooter and that this may have been a bogus call,” Manger told reporters.

“We were the first ones to respond to the Hart building and that was within seconds of us getting information,” he said.

Manger said that no shots were heard and that Capitol police swept every floor on all three Senate office buildings by 4 p.m.

“We had a very quick response,” Manger said.  “So far nothing, we’ve found nothing concerning.”

The MPD, which covers the District of Columbia, and Capitol Police have not been able to trace the original call, Manger said, adding that when law enforcement redialed the number, “the call just bounces back” from a “couple different locations.”

The apparently bogus call came one day after a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. indicted former President Donald J. Trump on charges that he and co-conspirators attempted to subvert the 2020 election to keep the former president in power through a series of illegal actions that culminated in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Lawmakers are out of session for August recess, but the buildings are still occupied by staff, journalists, building crew and Capitol police officers.

Manger said that Capitol police are “prepared for tomorrow” when the former president is expected to appear for his arraignment at the federal courthouse in D.C.

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Ariana Figueroa
Ariana Figueroa

Ariana covers the nation's capital for States Newsroom. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections and campaign finance.