Brief reports of a possible active shooter at the U.S. Justice Department provoked a massive law enforcement response to the federal facility in Washington D.C., but it was quickly announced that there was no active shooter, and it was a false alarm. Photos and videos captured the drama at the scene, however. You can see some of them below.
Police searched the building before giving an all clear and reporting that there was no shooting or active shooter, according to NBC16. However, the massive response from law enforcement showed that authorities were not taking any chances. “Authorities say the building was searched and swept before the signal was given,” reported KTVL-TV.
An assignment editor for CNN also tweeted that there was no active shooter at Justice after an all clear was given. The reports caused a brief scare as they ricocheted throughout the news media, driven by the large law enforcement presence at the scene. It took only minutes, though, for police to announce the all clear.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Call May Have Come From a ‘Third Party,’ Reports Say
One report said the active shooter claims came from an unidentified “third party.” Fox5DC reported, “Police say scene at DOJ cleared, no sign of active shooter. Authorities say call was made by ‘third party.'” More information was not given about that person or what they supposedly said. NBC16 reported that police are still investigating. Police had not yet given an official statement on the matter.
Photos & Videos Showed the Massive Response to the Scene
Uniformed police officers rushed to the scene. Photos also captured the law enforcement response to Justice. The Justice Department is located near the White House and Congress in Washington D.C.
NBC reporter Adam Tuss wrote on the early evening of June 11, 2018, “Still massive police presence on Pennsylvania Ave NW outside the @TheJusticeDept between 9th and 10th street. @nbcwashington.”
He also tweeted out this photo of police clustering at the scene.
One observer on Twitter was tired of the terminology, writing, “‘Active shooter’ … Strange terminology. Is it possible to be a non-active shooter? A sleeping shooter? A comatose shooter? Isn’t the shooting the action in itself? Just asking. Ohh redundancy.” However, early on, the reports caused questions and fears. A typical tweet: “Someone is reporting active shooter at the justice department ???” One woman wrote, “Kind of scared to walk home now…. Active shooter reported at Justice Department, police say.” Luckily, though, it proved to be a hoax.
Police were obviously going to take no chances as a result of the active shooter situations at schools throughout the country, in addition to the political divide in the country. The Congressional baseball shooting that severely injured Congressman Steve Scalise in nearby Virginia is at the forefront of many people’s minds when these types of reports break out. It’s not clear whether police know the identity of the person who allegedly made the claim.
This post will be updated as more is learned about the incident.