• Active Shooter in DC Was False Alarm, Police Chief Said

    Reports of an active shooter at the District of Columbia’s Navy Yard were just a false alarm, according to police Chief Cathy Lanier, who gave the all clear Thursday morning.

    Lanier was joined at a press conference outside of the Navy administrative center by Navy Installations Commander Dixon Smith and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who said police found no evidence of gunshots, a shooter, or any victims in the area.

    The report of possible gunshots came at 7:29 am, Bowser said, after an employee said they heard shots in the area. Multiple agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Park Police, the Department of Homeland Security and the Metropolitan Police Department responded.

    All buildings in the area were placed on lock down and many employees from surrounding office buildings were instructed not to come to work. Roads were shut down while police searched buildings in the area for any sign of a shooter.

    Lanier said she doesn’t believe the report was part of a “malicious hoax” designed to test the reaction of city law enforcement agencies after police interviewed the person who called in the complaint.

    “We have no concerns that this was a hoax, whatsoever,” she said.

    Lanier also doesn’t believe the incident is related to the increased threat-level announced by federal agencies earlier this week, and said the response would have been the same.

    “I think there is an increased threat level here at all times,” said Lanier. “We change our tactics up for different events, but we never lower our posture.”

    The scene was reminiscent of the mass shooting that occurred in September 2013, when a civilian contractor opened fire at the navy base, killing 12 people and injuring three others.

    The 2013 shooter, Aaron Alexis, was killed by law enforcement officers during the fight.

    Lanier said things went smoothly Thursday, thanks to the protocols put in place after the deadly shooting, and that the false alarm “turned out to be a great exercise” in emergency response.

    She would not say whether the person who called in the report of gunshots was at the base during the 2013 incident.

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