Tuesday afternoon, police claim, they detained a man carrying a gun at a park close to the US Capitol.
U.S. Capitol Police stated in a statement that they confronted Atlanta resident Ahmir Lavon Merrell, 21, after someone reported seeing him carrying a gun in a park close to Senate office buildings. When he refused to drop the gun, the officers used a Taser stun gun to bring him down.
For approximately two hours, the park and nearby roadways opposite Washington’s Union Station were closed while law enforcement searched the area and Merrell’s possessions.
It seems that no shots were fired, according to the authorities. According to the officers, there is no continuous threat. His purpose for visiting Washington was initially unclear.
After being brought to a hospital for observation, he is expected to be charged with multiple offences, including carrying a firearm on Capitol property, according to a Capitol Police spokesperson Brianna Burch.
She characterized the weapon as a rifle and stated he landed onto it. There were no more details at this time. The park is next to the Russell and Hart Senate office buildings, situated between Union Station and the Capitol.
Tom Manger, the chief of Capitol Police, expressed his pride in the officers who “ran towards the man with the loaded gun.” He added that investigators suspect he is “dealing with some serious psychological disorders.” It is forbidden to carry a firearm on US Capitol property. The US Capitol Police have seized over thirty firearms so far this year.
Merrell wasn’t seen as having a specific threat or target, according to the police, but Manger expressed concern over “the fact that he was on Capitol grounds.” He will reportedly face preliminary charges from the police for carrying a gun on Capitol property. According to the authorities, Merrell is also a registered sex offender in Georgia.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, stated following the arrest that he is in favor of outlawing firearms, generally known as assault weapons. He declared, “We are maintaining a constant vigilance on security” in the Capitol.