WASHINGTON (AP) — A man with a rifle was arrested in a park near the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, police said.
Police confronted 21-year-old Ahmir Lavon Merrell of Atlanta after someone saw him with the gun in a park near Senate office buildings and told an officer, U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement. Officers demanded that he drop the gun, but he refused and they used a Taser stun gun to subdue him, police said.
The park and roads in the area across from Washington’s Union Station were closed for about two hours as officers searched the area and Merrell’s belongings.
Officers said they did not believe there was an ongoing threat. It was not immediately clear why he was in Washington. No publicly listed contacts were available for him, and a lawyer who represented him on a previous case did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said he was proud of officers who “ran toward the man with the loaded gun.”
Carrying firearms is prohibited on U.S. Capitol grounds. So far this year, U.S. Capitol Police have confiscated more than 30 guns.
After the arrest, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he supports a ban on guns often referred to as assault weapons. “We are keeping a constant vigilance on security” in the Capitol, he said.
Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this story.