Man with gun arrested near US Capitol from Atlanta, police say

A man with a gun was arrested in a park near the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, police said.

The apprehension occurred in a park situated just outside Senate office buildings, across from the prominent Washington Union Station, as reported by the U.S. Capitol Police.

Out of an abundance of caution, law enforcement personnel conducted a thorough search of the vicinity where the arrest took place, as well as the individual's personal belongings. Fortunately, after their investigation, officers concluded that there was no ongoing threat to public safety.

The man has been identified as 21-year-old Ahmir Lavon Merrell of Atlanta, according to Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger.


Merrell was arrested in March 2019 by Union City Police for cruelty to children in the 2nd degree and child molestation, according to Fulton County Jail records. He was given time served for the cruelty to children charge and was not prosecuted for the child molestation charge as part of a plea deal under the first-offender act, according to court records. Jail records indicate he was transferred to a half-way house. He was ordered to serve six years probation on Jan. 27, 2020.  

It is against the law to openly carrying firearms in public in the District of Columbia and on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.