May 28, 2024

Near Washington Union Station, an armed man from Georgia was tased and taken into custody.

DALLAS (7News) — In a park across the street from Union Station in Washington, D.C., a man from Georgia who appeared to be carrying an AR15 was taken into custody by US Capitol Police officers, according to officials.

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger stated during a press conference on Tuesday that at 12:39 p.m., someone alerted a USCP officer close to the Russell Building about the presence of a gunman in the park.

According to Manger, when police arrived on the scene, they observed a man brandishing what appeared to be an AR15 semi-automatic rifle.

Manger stated that officers had told the man, identified as 21-year-old Ahmir Lavon Merrell, to stop walking along the sidewalk, but he refused. Instead, Merrell approached Union Station slowly, according to Manger, which prompted an officer to tase him in the back before he collapsed forward onto his gun.

Merrell was arrested right away after that.

According to Manager, the department discovered during their investigation that Merrell is a registered sex offender in Georgia and a resident of Atlanta. According to police records, he is wanted in Georgia for violating his probation.

Investigators are still trying to find out Merrell’s whereabouts on Tuesday, his purpose for being on Capitol property, and his plans. Manger stated that authorities think Merrell might be having mental health problems based on their interactions with him. However, this remains unclear.

Merrell faces charges including felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful activities, fugitive from justice, and unregistered ammunition and firearm.

Bomb technicians went through a bag that Merrell had left on a park bench and discovered nothing unusual, according to Manger. This led to multiple road closures while law enforcement looked into the situation. D Street was closed between Louisiana and Delaware Avenues Northeast and Columbus Circle was closed between Louisiana and Delaware Avenues Northeast due to police activity. Since then, the area has reopened, and Upper Senate Park has received the all-clear.

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