Gannett office building evacuated after reports of armed former employee


Chief Edwin Roessler says there is no evidence that a crime occurred.

McLEAN, Va. (WDVM) — Shortly before noon on Wednesday the Fairfax County Police Department received a 911 call from someone claiming to be in the Gannett office building in the Tyson’s area. The caller said they saw a former employee, armed with a weapon.

The SWAT team concluded its search of the building at around 3:00 that afternoon. Chief Edwin Roessler says there is no evidence that a crime occurred.

While shots were not fired and no one was injured, the police department treated the incident as if it were an active shooter situation. Officers from the Special Operations Division spent hours searching each floor of the building, which is home to USA Today.

At the first press gathering just before 2:00, the police chief could not confirm whether the suspect was a former employee of the news organization.

“All the employees sheltered in place and I praise them for what they have done,” said Roessler. “They have made this situation very textbook for our SWAT team to do their search.”

Also at the first gathering, Roessler said the police department had identified a person of interest. He did not disclose their description, in the event they “didn’t do anything wrong.”

One hour later, Roessler said the police department had found the person of interest in another area of Fairfax County and does not believe the suspect committed a crime.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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