After receiving a 911 call about a possible active shooter on Wednesday afternoon, authorities issued a shelter-in-place order and searched Senate office buildings in the vicinity of the United States Capitol.
There was a comprehensive search of all three structures, but nothing was discovered. Chief of Police for the Capitol, Tom Manger, speculated that a hoax complaint might have caused the security alert.
Nothing suspicious was discovered, he said. There were no bystanders who heard gunfire, and nobody was hurt.
The indictment of former President Donald Trump on charges relating to his attempts to change the 2020 presidential election results has raised security concerns. On Thursday, Trump will travel the short distance from the Capitol to appear in federal court.
The manager said that over the last several weeks, law enforcement authorities in Washington had been preparing for the possibility of an indictment. They also have a security plan if any Trump supporters show up to the courthouse to cause trouble.
On Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., the Hart Senate Office Building went into lockdown after local police got a complaint about a heavyset Hispanic individual wearing body armor who was reportedly inside the building. This is one of three buildings close to the Capitol where senators and their staffs have offices.
The Capitol Police immediately began a thorough search of the many buildings.
The Russell Senate Office Building officers told everyone to get out of the building quickly. Visitors saw multiple police vehicles around the area outside. An email was sent to all employees and journalists in the building, instructing them to find a safe area, remain silent, and switch off all electronic devices.
According to the management, 90 minutes later, all three Senate office buildings were empty, indicating the call was fake.
Since both houses of Congress are now on break, the legislative offices are noticeably emptier than usual.