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USA Today building declared safe after report of armed man, evacuation

The headquarters of USA Today in suburban Washington was evacuated on Wednesday following reports of a man with a weapon, but police later found no indication of wrongdoing and declared the building safe, officials said.

Police officers with rifles surrounded and entered the building in McLean, Virginia, according to images posted on social media.

The police response followed an emergency 911 call to dispatchers from someone who reported an ex-employee had shown up armed, Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr said at a news conference.

Hundreds of office workers at the building, which houses other firms besides the newspaper, were brought outside by police, USA Today reported on its website.

Roessler told reporters he could not immediately say whether the potentially armed man was a former employee of USA Today, which is owned by Gannet Co Inc, or had worked for another group at the building.

Gannett, in a statement, said none of its current or former employees was involved, other than having to evacuate the building. They were allowed to return in the late afternoon.

Police found and spoke to a “person of interest” in another part of Fairfax County, but he is not expected to be criminally charged, county police said in a statement.

The evacuation followed gun massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend in which more than 30 people were killed.