Investigation at Washington Navy Yard is all clear, 'no evidence of a shooting,' U.S. Navy confirms

Police presence on scene at the Navy Yard following reports of gunshots. (Photo: WJLA)

WASHINGTON (WJLA/AP) – The Washington Navy Yard went on lockdown Thursday after someone reported shots fired in the same building where a gunman killed 12 workers in a rampage two years ago.

The U.S. Navy confirmed Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier's earlier comments to ABC 7 that there was no evidence of a shooting found at the Navy Yard.

The scene was cleared of all activity just after 10 a.m.

MPD later confirmed information reported by sources of ABC 7 On Your Side reporter Jennifer Donelan that a person initially called 911 to report the "sound of gunshots" in Building 197.

During a news conference late Thursday morning, police said a a woman called from inside a Navy Yard building to report that she might have heard what sounded like gunshots around 7:20 a.m.,{ }which triggered a large response in keeping with protocols established after the 2013 massacre at the Navy Yard.

However, investigators found no sign of a shooting, a shooter or anyone injured. No arrests were made and no weapons found, officials said.

"At this time there is no evidence of gunshots," Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "There is no evidence of a shooter, and there is no evidence of any victims today."

Navy security saw surveillance video of two people jumping the fence in the vicinity of the building a couple of minutes before the first report of gunfire, a federal official tells the Associated Press.

Officials do not believe the report was a hoax, D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters. Investigators interviewed the woman who made the call, Lanier said, and she did exactly as authorities regularly tell people: Report anything you think may be suspicious.

Shortly after the report, a heavy police and fire department presence began blocks away from the Navy Yard, with roads blocked and a helicopter hovering overhead.

The initial police response closed several roads in the surrounding area, including 11th St from M St to Virginia Ave. and M St from 3rd to 8th St SE.

Metro Transit Police confirmed earlier Thursday morning that Metro was not affected by the ongoing police investigation.

ABC 7's Sam Sweeney reported that Metropolitan Police moved their search to a building in the 300 block of M Street around 9:30 a.m.The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene. At a news conference, local and Navy officials praised the work of all the responding agencies and called it well-coordinated.

Thousands would have been at the base at the time of the reports, Navy public affairs officer Chris Johnson told reporters outside the Navy Yard, the country's oldest naval installation.

Gates to the Navy Yard were closed, and all people were advised to shelter in place, said Chatney Auger, spokeswoman for Naval District Washington.

Lt. Commander Scott Williams, who was inside during the incident, described the scene to reporters as "scary and confusing" and said people were screaming and running around while attempting to leave.

When facilities specialist Chris Robertson heard an alarm and loudspeaker instructions about 7:30 a.m., he said his first thought was: "Here we go again."

He said his supervisor called at 7:33 a.m. and told him and his two co-workers to leave. He also said he hadn't noticed anything unusual Thursday morning - everything was normal.

In September 2013, military contractor Aaron Alexis killed 12 civilian workers at the Navy Yard's Building 197 before he was fatally shot by police. The building has since been renamed the Humphreys Building. It reopened this year.

The major's office set up two phone lines for residents and staff of the Navy Yard who need to talk about the incident. Please call 1 (866) 962-5048 or 1 (888) 7WE-HELP. Phone lines are open 24 hours each day.

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