Officers on routine patrol late Sunday afternoon observed a parked and unoccupied vehicle that it described as “suspicious in nature," just blocks from the Capitol where a crowd was gathering for the National Memorial Day Concert.
U.S. Capitol Police say its Hazardous Devices Section was called to investigate and ultimately disrupted the suspicious vehicle, triggering a loud band that echoed throughout the Mall.
Photos afterwards revealed a pressure cooker sitting in the grass and a bomb tech removing a propane tank from the vehicle. Officials said there was “an odor of gasoline” that was detected, which further alarmed officers.
U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider confirmed that there was a pressure cooker located inside the vehicle, but it was ultimately deemed not to be hazardous.
“The USCP bomb squad safely disrupted the items of concern in the vehicle including the pressure cooker, at about 7:45 p.m., and performed a thorough hand search,” Schneider wrote in a news release Sunday evening. “At about 8:20 p.m., the USCP concluded its investigation of the suspicious vehicle with negative results and nothing hazardous found.”