Gunshots Reported At Washington Navy Yard, Authorities Give ‘All Clear’
On Thursday, federal officers and U.S. Capitol Police responded to the report of a possible shooter at the Washington Navy Yard.
However, they gave an “all clear” after no gunman or any sign of shooting was found, according to the authorities.
At 7:29 a.m., a Navy Yard employee reported that “she may have heard gunshots in the facility,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said. The call was transferred over to the Metropolitan police, who responded to the Navy Yard with the U.S. Park Police, U.S. Marshals, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Capitol Police, the FBI and others, as reported by USA Today.
Police chief Cathy Lanier said there were “no signs of a shooter, no shooting and no injured” after the Navy Yard was thoroughly checked. While it is yet to be determined what prompted the employee to make the call, authorities are not considering it as a hoax.
The police also swept the Humphreys Building – formerly known as Building 197 – which was a scene of mass shooting in 2013, an incident that claimed the lives of 12 people.
A lockdown was forced into effect as precaution and workers were asked to stay inside. Several roads were closed because of the investigation and a school was placed under lockdown as well for a short while, as reported by NBC Washington.
Lt. Commander Scott Williams, one of the people inside the premises, said, “It was pretty much like the first time. There were lots of people running for the exits, running for shelter, a lot of confusion.”
Since the 2013 shooting, the Navy has attempted to make several security improvements to thwart a potential attack. At a press conference Thursday, Navy Vice Admiral Dixon Smith addressed these improvements.
“We’ve learned a lot over the last couple years, we’ve exercised hard, we’re going to review this again to see what went right and what we can continue to improve upon to improve our procedures in the future,” he said.
Naval Architect Jordan Rongers said that the response and evacuation “pretty much the same thing as happened three years ago, but I think the response has been much better.”
Officials have issued warnings of potential terror threats on or around Independence Day.
At around 11 a.m., almost an hour after the sweep of the Navy Yard had been completed and no sign of shooting had been found, Mayor Bowser, DCPD Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Smith, commander of naval installations briefed the reporters.
According to CNN, Bowser said, “At this time there is no evidence of gun shots, there is no evidence of a shooter and there is no evidence of any victims today.”
Navy contractor Scott Corsano, who works on the third floor of Building 197, said someone began shouting for people to go into lockdown, where they remained for 45 minutes, after the report of a shooter near the entrance emerged. However, he didn’t hear any gunshots.
“I wasn’t too worried about it. I was just waiting to see what it was going to be,” he said.
The Washington Navy Yard, located on the Anacostia River, is an administrative facility for the U.S. Navy. It is the home to the Chief of Naval Operations and is headquarters for the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Department of Naval History and other naval facilities.
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