Detroit Police Chief James Craig cited a “failure of communication” in the events causing an evacuation at City Hall in Downtown Detroit on Monday.
Just before 11 a.m., police ordered the crowd to move back a block as a precaution. Around the same time, city council members were seen being escorted from the building. At 11:10 a.m. about a dozen police officers with high-powered weapons were seen going into the building.
During a press conference near the scene, Craig confirmed a white man, around 6-feet tall in a dark-colored suit slipped by security guards after a security scanner detected a what appeared to be a pistol in his bag.
“This person put his bag on the screening apparatus, recovered his bag and left,” the police chief said. “By the time the security staff was alerted, the suspect was gone.”
Police were searching for the man inside the building. No injuries had been reported.
The chief said all judges and council members were out of the building at 2 Woodward Ave., near the Spirit of Detroit statue.
Craig said no one other than on-duty law enforcement officers are allowed to have weapons on the premises. The police chief added that this incident should serve as a learning experience.
“We have got to be talking to each other,” Craig said of the communication between private security and law enforcement in the building. “I’m not going to be critical yet, because it’s preliminary, but this shouldn’t happen.”
He added that certain employees have been allowed in the past to bypass these security checks, but “that’s not going to happen anymore.”