US Capitol briefly locked down; reports of woman with gun

Capitol Police return to their stations as an emergency lockdown was lifted on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Capitol was briefly locked down Friday morning after reports that a woman with a gun was attempting to enter the building. It turned out to be a false alarm.

The all-clear was given within an hour, shortly before 10 a.m. Normal operations quickly resumed at the Capitol, with visitors let inside and the House preparing to come back into session and vote.

In a statement, House and Senate Sergeants at Arms and U.S. Capitol Police said that shortly before 9 a.m. police had identified an item in an employee’s backpack as the employee passed through an office building tunnel to the Capitol. They decided to investigate further.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Capitol was placed on lockdown to keep everyone safe until the circumstances could be verified,” the statement said. “Upon further investigation, USCP determined that the item was not a threat to the safety and security of the congressional community, and the lockdown was immediately lifted.”

One officer said she had something that looked like a gun in her bag.

Nerves were already rattled following Thursday night’s shooting of police officers in Dallas.

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