Cyprus Mail

Police declare false alarm after reports of US Navy Yard shooter (Updated)

Police respond to reports of a shooting and subsequent lockdown at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington

Authorities issued an “all clear” after reports of a possible shooter at the US Navy Yard in Washington on Thursday touched off an hours-long lockdown at the military facility.

Police found no evidence of a shooter at the facility just a mile south of the US Capitol, a Washington police department spokeswoman said about two hours after initial reports emerged.

The spokeswoman said the police investigation was concluded and subsequent inquiries would be done by Navy authorities, who had placed the facility on lockdown at about 7:45 a.m. EDT (1145 GMT).

Police responded to the report amid heightened security concerns ahead of the U.S. July Fourth holiday weekend and in the wake of a 2013 shooting at the military complex that killed 12 people.

No further details were immediately available about the incident at the Navy Yard, which is a mile south of the US Capitol and 3 miles from the White House.

A caller told authorities that shots were heard in the Navy Yard’s Building 197, according to multiple reports, the same one that was the scene of the 2013 killings by Aaron Alexis, a former sailor who was working for a government technology contractor at the Navy Yard.

Lieutenant Commander Scott Williams, 39, a guided missile engineer at the Navy Yard, was in the building on Thursday and the day of the 2013 shooting.

He told Reuters that police came to his office at about 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT) and escorted him and colleagues out.

“It was pretty much a mirror image of what happened in 2013,” he said. “Here we go again.”

Williams said security had been tightened after the 2013 shootings with more ID checks and random bag searches.

Live television showed a massive police presence in the area, and more than eight blocks of nearby roads were shut down as authorities responded to the scene, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have issued an alert calling for local authorities and the public to remain vigilant for possible threats during the holiday weekend.

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