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The USA Today headquarters building in McLean, Virginia, was evacuated on Wednesday morning after reports of a man with a weapon.
About an hour after news of the alleged incident broke, it was learned that it was a mistaken report.
Fairfax County police responded to the situation around 9:30 a.m. “We are responding to reports of a man with weapon at the Gannett Building located at 7950 Jones Branch Drive in McLean. Please avoid the area,” police tweeted on the department’s verified account.
It was unclear at the time what “weapon” meant. Staff members for the newspaper said via social media it was unclear what was occurring, but they had evacuated the building. They also shared pictures of the large group waiting outside.
Around 10:10 a.m., police tweeted, “We are working to investigate this reported threat. Officers are currently working to clear the building. At this time, we have found no evidence of any acts of violence or injuries.”
Gannett, which houses USA Today’s newsroom, issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:
Earlier today, the Valo Park building in which Gannett’s corporate headquarters is located in Tysons Corner, Va. was evacuated after a report that there may be an individual with a weapon in the building. Fairfax County Police and other law enforcement agencies swept the building and cleared it without incident allowing the employees of Gannett and the other companies in the building to return by late afternoon. No current or former Gannett employee was involved in this incident.
The security and safety of our employees is of paramount importance to Gannett. We are thankful to law enforcement and other emergency personnel who responded swiftly to secure the location. We are appreciative of their professionalism, care for our employees and clear communication with management throughout the incident.
We also want to thank our neighbors, in particular those at the McLean Hilton and at PenFed Credit Union, who opened their doors to our employees without hesitation. And, finally, we want to thank our employees who remained calm and focused throughout.
Tensions are high right now after the nation was rocked by two more devastating mass shootings last week, one in El Paso, Texas, and the other, less than 24 hours later, in Dayton, Ohio.
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