RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Capitol Police said no explosive device was found by K-9 units in the Virginia Supreme Court Building after a bomb threat was reported earlier this afternoon.
VCP said just before 1 p.m. an employee received a phone call with someone referencing a possible bomb. Police said units arrived at the scene around 1:15 p.m., and out of an abundance of caution, they evacuated people into the Pocahontas building.
During this time period, officials asked people to avoid the area around 100 N 9th St., and police blocked the intersection of E. Franklin and 8th St.
After a K-9 unit completed a sweep of the building at about 2:30 p.m., employees were allowed to re-enter.
Capitol Police said this investigation is ongoing.
The scare comes a few days before Lobby Day in Virginia and less than a week before Presidential Inauguration. The City of Richmond declared a new State of Emergency on Monday after the FBI warned of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington D.C. in the days leading up to Inauguration Day.
At a news conference Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam said the state is prepared to respond to any unrest.
“If you’re planning to come here or up to Washington with ill intent, you need to turn around and go home. You are not welcome here and you are not welcome there,” Northam said.
Attorney General Mark Herring said that no specific threats have been made in Richmond.
Still, on Friday, the AG’s office was boarded up. The lower windows on the Capitol building and other executive offices were covered with plywood earlier this week.
A state official said Capitol Square will remain closed until Jan. 21 in anticipation of possible unrest. Security fencing has been added around the square.
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