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Enhanced Security at Capitol After Navy Yard Shooting Reports (Updated)

Shimeles thinks Capitol Police overreacted. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Shimeles thinks Capitol Police overreacted. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 10:19 a.m. |  Reports of an active shooter at the Navy Yard in Southeast D.C. Thursday morning drew security units from across the District, including the Capitol Police, who also stepped up security at the nation’s Capitol ahead of the holiday weekend.  

The Metropolitan Police Department gave the “all clear” at the Navy Yard shortly after 10 a.m., and confirmed there was no evidence of a shooting at the facility. According to MPD, a call from within the Navy Yard reported “possible sounds of gun shots” around 7:29 a.m. “At this time we have completed our search of the building and have found no evidence of a shooting or injured personnel,” MPD said in a press release.  

Capitol Police sources said patrol units and the department’s highly trained Containment Emergency Response Team team responded to Navy Yard early Thursday after MPD put out a call responding to reports at 7:43 a.m. about an active shooter at the complex. In a statement sent just before 8:30 a.m., USCP spokesperson Lt. Kimberly Schneider said there was “no known threat to the Capitol Complex” and that Capitol Police were monitoring the situation.  

There was calm on Capitol Hill, despite the sound of sirens in the distance. At 8:18 a.m. noticeable security changes included additional officers posted on the East Lawn, bearing long rifles, officers in riot gear and a police chopper floating on the horizon.  

Schneider said the enhanced security was part of “proactive measures” related to the Navy Yard incident. “We have additional units in the field deployed strategically around the Capitol Complex, as the situation dictates,  while remaining available to continue to provide mutual support at the Navy Yard,” Schneider said.  

Schneider also said USCP units at the Capitol “are continuously being kept abreast of the Washington Navy Yard incident and are being extremely diligent in light of the current situation.” Around the Capitol campus, many officers were seen clutching cell phones and repeatedly looking at their screens for updates.  

In September 2013, a shooting at the Navy Yard left 12 dead. The Capitol Police conducted an internal review of the department’s response to the incident, when the CERT team was called back to the Capitol 30 minutes after reports of the shooting. The review team also listed recommendations including improving internal communications, mutual aid participation, and after-action debriefings. Chief Kim C. Dine said at the time that the department agreed with the recommendations and began implementing them.

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