Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler said at a news conference that his department got a 911 call around noon Wednesday from the building saying an armed “former employee” had been seen there.
Roessler says it’s not clear yet whether that report is true. He says so far there are no reports of gunshots being fired.
Roessler says everyone hopes it “will be a nonevent” but it will take hours to finish searching the building floor by floor.
A Northern Virginia police chief says a report of a former employee with a handgun prompted the evacuation of the headquarters of USA Today.
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler told The Associated Press on Wednesday afternoon that parts of the newspaper’s office building had since been evacuated. Roessler says people are still sheltering in place in other parts as officers work to clear the building in suburban Washington.
The police department said shortly after 1 p.m. that officers hadn’t found “evidence of any acts of violence or injuries.”
Taylor Rosa, an accountant for Gannett, says some workers looked panicked as they evacuated but others were just confused.
The headquarters of USA Today has been evacuated as police respond to reports of a man with a weapon in the building.
The newspaper reported that alarms sounded and police squad cars converged on the scene Wednesday as employees waited outside. Law enforcement officers with rifles and body armor patrolled the area and a helicopter hovered overhead.
Fairfax County police in a tweet urged people to avoid the area, but provided no other immediate details.