Registered sex offender arrested with rifle near US Senate

U.S. Capitol Police shot and arrested a Georgia man who was carrying a gun within sight of the legislative branch headquarters Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities said they received a report of a man armed with a “long gun” walking in a park across from Union Station at approximately 12:40 p.m.

Officers found the suspect moments later and ordered him to drop the gun; They then shot him with a Taser when he did not comply.

Capitol Police arrested an armed man outside the Senate Office Buildings in Washington, DC on November 7, 2023. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images The man was reportedly carrying an AR-15 rifle. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images The gunman was taken into custody in a park next to Union Station.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger identified the suspect as Ahmir Lavon Merrell, 21, of Atlanta, a registered sex offender in the Peach State with an arrest warrant for violation of probation.

Arrest photos showed Merrell wearing a tan tracksuit with the “Boominati Worldwide” logo, a reference to a record label founded by rap producer Metro Boomin.

The park where Merrell was arrested is near three Senate office buildings located just north of the Capitol, and nearby roads were closed for about two hours while agents searched his belongings and the surrounding area.

The suspect was transferred to an ambulance after the arrest. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Members of Congress, staff and the press were advised to avoid the Upper Senate Park area, directly north of the US Capitol building across Constitution Avenue, until around 3 p.m., when Bomb technicians completed their search for a backpack, Merrell said. he had been carrying.

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“Based on the limited contact from our officers and the limited conversation with Mr. Merrell, there are some indications that he may be dealing with some mental health issues, but we don’t know,” Manger said. “We don’t know why he was in the park with a gun. He made no statements about why he was here or what he intended to do. Again, it is still an ongoing investigation.”

However, authorities said they did not believe there was an ongoing threat to the Capitol complex.

Merrell has been charged with felon in possession of a firearm, possession of unregistered ammunition, possession of an unregistered firearm, fugitive from justice and unlawful activities.

The weapon seized by the Capitol Police.USCP

“’See something, say something’ is not just an empty slogan. “We are grateful for the person who alerted our officer to the man with a gun in the park,” Manger said in a statement. “These police officers immediately ran towards the man with the loaded gun. As always, I am proud of our police officers.”

Carrying firearms in public is illegal in Washington, DC, and weapons are not permitted on Capitol grounds. The USCP said it had confiscated more than 30 firearms so far this year.

Tensions have remained high in the nation’s capital following a pro-Palestinian rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, during which tens of thousands of protesters marched and then invaded the White House.

A police officer handling a gun after arrest. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Protesters chanted “Allahu akbar” and “F–k Joe Biden,” calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists.

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They also pressed against the doors of the executive mansion and painted bloody handprints on its white bricks, accusing the president of genocide for his administration’s continued support of the Jewish state.

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