A House Chief Administrative Office staff member accused of possessing a handgun in a House office building was apprehended 12 minutes after officers recognized that an X-ray showed the firearm in his bag, Capitol Police revealed Friday, adding eight minutes to the original timeline.
“After our review of the investigation and preliminary timeline — we discovered it took approximately four minutes to lock the building down and then approximately eight minutes until the suspect was stopped by officers,” Capitol Police said in a statement on Friday.
HOUSE AIDE ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY CARRYING GUN WITHIN CONGRESS
The police also heaped additional charges on the suspect, 57-year-old Jeffrey Allsbrooks, who said he forgot the gun was in his bag. He now faces charges of possession of an unregistered firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of unregistered ammunition, and possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
Initially, police said Allsbrooks was tracked down four minutes after officers in the Longworth House Office Building spotted the image of a handgun in a bag on an X-ray screening machine at about 7:10 a.m. on Thursday.
The incident adds to a lack of confidence in Capitol security that still lingers almost a year after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, when the disorganized force was unable to stop a mob from entering the building.
Staff and members of Congress shuddered to think of the kind of damage that could have been done had the suspected actually wanted to harm anyone, as it happened on the day President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and congressional leaders gathered to honor the late Sen. Bob Dole as he lay in state.
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Rep. Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat and chairman of a House subcommittee that oversees Capitol Police, told Axios he would include the “concerning” incident in a future hearing planned on the police force.
“We're short-staffed, everyone's still burned out, we need to be ramping up and have more technology, more everything," Ryan said. "We've got a lot of work to do to continue to protect the Capitol.”