U.S. Capitol Police reported in a news release that they had intercepted and recovered an assault rifle with an extended magazine just outside the Capitol grounds on Friday. Police found the firearm in the back of a pickup vehicle, partially concealed under a blanket.
The announcement states that the weapons was discovered by Capitol Police during vehicle inspections at a delivery facility located off Capitol grounds. Police have stated that while they are still investigating the event, they have found no evidence that the owner intended to attack the Capitol or Congress.
Police identified the truck driver as 57-year-old Michael J. Donohue of Maryland. Police said they have probable cause to arrest Donohue on counts of illegal firearm possession, ammunition possession, and criminal activity.
There was no way for NBC News to get a comment from Donohue. “I thank our entire team at the off-site screening facility for stopping this gun before it came anywhere near the U.S. Capitol Complex,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said in the press release.
The U.S. Capitol Police confiscated an assault rifle before it reached Capitol grounds, police say. There is currently no evidence that the owner was attempting to target the Capitol or Congress, but the incident is under investigation. https://t.co/yKxIHasfZz
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 14, 2023
This week is a recess for Congress, and they will return to Washington on Monday. According to the Capitol Police Department, their personnel recovered over 40 firearms in or around the building in 2022. A handgun and an assault-style “ghost gun” were taken by Capitol Police last month.
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