WASHINGTON: A Texas man was arrested Wednesday near the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, the future residence of Vice President Kamala Harris, after he was stopped by the Secret Service, law enforcement officials said.
A uniformed Secret Service officer spotted the man, Paul Murray, 31, of San Antonio, around noon near the observatory, where vice presidents traditionally live. (Harris has not moved in yet.) He had a long gun and ammunition in a nearby car, officials said.
An intelligence bulletin from Texas had warned law enforcement about Murray, officials said. Murray’s mother had also warned the police that her son was in Washington, authorities said.
While the Secret Service detained Murray, officers from Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department tracked down his car, where they found a rifle and ammunition. The Secret Service then turned Murray over to the police. He faces gun and ammunition possession charges, according to a police department statement.
Harris was not at the observatory Wednesday afternoon, but in an office building near the White House, meeting virtually with Prime Minister Micheal Martin of Ireland.
Security has been increased in the nation’s capital since Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, causing five deaths. Since the attack, National Guard troops have patrolled the building and grounds, although their numbers were recently cut roughly in half, to 2,200.
Police will also begin scaling back in the coming days, and some of the fencing that was put up around the Capitol after the riot will be removed.