U.S. Capitol, Visitor Center Briefly Placed on Lockdown as Police Investigated ‘Person of Interest’

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The U.S. Capitol building is pictured in Washington, D.C., in a 2011 file photo. (Credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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The U.S. Capitol and Capitol Visitor Center were placed on lockdown briefly Friday morning, but the shelter in place order has since ended.

Capitol Hill police ordered the lockdown while they investigated a suspicious item in the backpack of an employee shortly before 9 a.m. ET, Capitol Police said in a statement

The employee was stopped as he or she passed through the tunnel that connects the Rayburn House Office Building to the U.S. Capitol.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Capitol was placed on lockdown to keep everyone safe until the circumstances could be verified,” the Capitol Police 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.”

The Capitol Police said it would continue to urge Members of Congress, staff and visitors to be aware of their surroundings while in the U.S. Capitol complex and to report any unusual activity to the authorities.

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