2ND UPDATE with police news conference, 11:48 AM: Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler said at a news conference today that officers were going floor-to-floor investigating reports of a man with a weapon at the USA Today/Gannett building near Washington, D.C.
“It’s important to note that right now we do not — I repeat, do not have any reports of gunshots being fired,” he said. “This is a very large office complex, and it’s going to take several more hours to evacuate the building and to make a determination that the building is all clear.”
Roessler added, “We all pray that this event will be a non-event.”
Watch the presser here:
UPDATED, 10:31 AM: USA Today is quoting local police as saying the reports of a man with a weapon at its D.C.-area headquarters were mistaken. We are awaiting confirmation from the Fairfax County Police Department, which has scheduled a news conference for 1:55 PM ET.
PREVIOUSLY, 10:11 AM: The D.C.-adjacent headquarters of USA Today have been evacuated after reports of a man with a weapon. Fairfax County Police have acknowledged the reports and urged people to stay out of the area.
Police say they are “working to clear the building” but so far “have found no evidence of any acts of violence or injuries.”
The building near the Tysons Corner Center mall in the Washington. D.C., suburb of McLean, VA, also is the main headquarters of the Gannett Company. Cable TV reports showed hundreds of people standing outside the building next to flags that are lowered to half-staff in memory of the 31 people killed in the weekend mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, OH.
USA Today‘s Washington bureau chief Susan Page told MSNBC that “thousands of people work in that area” and “hundreds of people were surely in the building at the point of the evacuation.” She added that people need to through a security checkpoint to enter the Gannett/USA Today building and need to have a permanent pass or check in at the guard desk to be admitted.
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