U.S. Capitol Police arrested a congressional staffer on Thursday after he walked into a legislative building with a gun in his bag, leading to a brief lockdown in a Capitol Hill complex still on edge nearly a year after a deadly insurrection.
Jeffrey Allsbrooks, who works with the House Chief Administrative Office, was taken into custody about four minutes after he entered the Longworth House Office Building, police said. Officers who were stationed at a security screening checkpoint at one of the building’s doors “spotted an image of a handgun in a bag on the X–ray screen,” Capitol Police said. A brief lockdown was initiated during the incident, telling other workers in the building to stay inside their offices, lock doors and windows and, if they were in a public space, to find a place to hide or seek cover. The lockdown was lifted about nine minutes later.
The arrest comes as Capitol Police track an unprecedented number of threats against lawmakers, thousands more than just a few years ago. In an interview with The Associated Press in September, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger predicted authorities would respond to close to 9,000 threats against members of Congress in 2021. More than 4,100 had been reported from January to March.
A congressional aide was caught bringing a handgun into the Capitol complex. Officers saw it on the x-ray screen & located the owner, 57-year-old Jeff Allsbrooks, then arrested him. Where did he got the idea that this was okay? 🙄 #ONEV1 #wtpBLUE #wtpEARTH https://t.co/rXjkBYoFgN pic.twitter.com/huRg9zUSMe
— 𝓒𝓵𝓪𝓲𝓻𝓮 “𝓑𝓮𝓪𝓻” is Vaccinated AF (@clairermassey) December 9, 2021
Officers tracked down Allsbrooks, who told them that he “forgot” the gun was in his bag. It’s unclear why Alllsbrooks would have been allowed to proceed through the checkpoint with a handgun in his bag. Police said they were continuing to investigate and were “looking into what happened before, during, and after those four minutes.”
US Capitol Police send email warning of “security threat” inside Longworth House Office Building pic.twitter.com/FiOvjsgUkH
— John R Parkinson (@jparkABC) December 9, 2021
Allsbrooks was arrested on a charge of carrying a pistol without a license. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.
2) USCP: The owner of the bag was identified as 57-year-old Jeffrey Allsbrooks (02-20-1964), a staffer with the House Chief Administrative Office. Allbrooks told our officers he forgot the gun was in the bag.
We are charging him with Carrying a Pistol without a License.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) December 9, 2021