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Police arrested a man carrying a rifle in the vicinity of Capitol Hill

The suspect was identified as Ahmir Lavon Merrell, a registered sex offender in Georgia.

Una vista general del edificio del Capitolio de los Estados Unidos, en Washington, D.C.,

(Cordon Press)

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This Tuesday, Capitol Police reported that they arrested a man who was walking with a rifle in a park near the Senate office buildings across from Union Station in Washington, DC.

The incident occurred around 12:30 p.m. after a witness alerted police to the presence of an armed individual. This led to a quick intervention by Capitol officers and the arrest of the suspect, identified as Ahmir Lavon Merrell, a registered sex offender in Georgia.

Thomas Manger, Capitol Police Chief, explained that when they found the man, they ordered him to drop his weapon, and when he refused to comply, the officers used a Taser gun to neutralize him. Authorities have not yet determined the type of weapon the man possessed. However, they said it resembled an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

Lavon Merrell will be charged with having a firearm near Congressional offices, but it is unclear if he will face additional charges.

Manger revealed that a few minutes after the arrest, bomb technicians also searched a backpack that a person left on a park bench. However, nothing suspicious was found.

During the incident, the Capitol Police announced some road closures, but a few hours later, they announced their reopening.

Doubts about the suspect’s mental health

Manger reported that there is a possibility Merrell is dealing with mental health issues due to the conversation officers had with the suspect.

“There is some indication that he may be dealing with some mental health issues, but we don’t know that. We don’t know why he was in the park with a gun. He made no statements as to why he was here or what he intended to do. Again, it’s still an ongoing investigation,” he said.