USA Today HQ evacuated after unconfirmed report of person with weapon

Washington, Aug 8 (IANS) Heavily armed police officers evacuated the headquarters of the USA Today newspaper in the Washington suburbs after authorities said they received a report of a person with a weapon that ultimately proved to be unsubstantiated.

Fairfax County, Virginia, police reported that they had cleared the entire building on Wednesday without incident.

"This is a non-event," said Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. "Everyone is safe, and I do not have any evidence that a crime was committed."

Roessler said police had located a "person of interest" related to the case. The person was being questioned by police, but Roessler said he was not linked to any crime, the USA Today reported.

Police received a call at 11.56 a.m., on Wednesday reporting that a man with gun was seen at the building, which holds the headquarters for USA TODAY, its parent company, Gannett Co., and offices for a variety of other businesses.

Roessler said authorities "treated this event as though we had an active shooter."

Wednesday's incident comes after the attack last year at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland when a gunman burst into the newsroom there and killed five employees of the paper.

News organizations across the country, including USA Today, tightened security after the shooting.

--IANS

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