The area surrounding the Russell Senate Office Building erupted into chaos on Wednesday after cops said they received a “concerning 911 call” about a possible active shooter that turned out to be “bogus.”
Videos from the scene showed dozens of cops surrounding the building as people rushed outside with their hands above their heads, and cops clearing rooms inside the building with their handguns and rifles drawn.
The U.S. Capitol Police blasted out emails and social posts alerting everyone inside the building, adjacent to the Capitol, to shelter in place around 3 p.m. local time. By 4:04 p.m., police gave the all clear.
The 911 caller claimed to have seen an armed “heavy-set Hispanic” man draped in body armor, U.S. Capitol Police Chief John Thomas Manger said in a press conference. A sweep of the building found nothing to suggest that was true.
When cops tried to call the number that dialed 911, it bounced back, Manger said.
DC Fire and EMS told Fox News that the situation was likely a “mental health” situation and not an active shooter.
Manger said more than 200 officers worked to clear the scene.
“We found nothing concerning,” he said. “We’ve got nobody that has that actually heard shots, and certainly no victims.”
He insinuated the call was suspicious from the jump, as there was no indication from the building’s entry points—staffed by officers—that a gunman had entered in body armor.
“We had to work on the assumption that somebody may have gotten in,” Manger said. “But we had no indication from all the entry points that anybody came in that was suspicious.”
D.C. has been on edge since Donald Trump was indicted there on Tuesday afternoon on charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election result.
The former president is slated to appear in court on Thursday, which has put the capital on high alert for potential agitators. Trump’s appearance is slated for 4 p.m. at the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse, less than a half mile west of the Russell building.
Asked if he’s worried about securing the area surrounding the hearing, Manger said his department is prepared.
“We’ve all been working together in preparation of if the indictment in fact did happen,” he said. “We’ve been talking about this for a couple of weeks now—we’ve had a couple of phone calls today. So yeah, we’re prepared for whatever might happen.”