Miscommunication Leads to SWAT Action, Evacuation in Tysons

Miscommunication Leads to SWAT Action, Evacuation in Tysons

In the end, Chief Edwin Roessler’s prayers were answered. “The investigation is ongoing but we don’t have any evidence that a crime occurred – we’re thankful that this was a non-event.”

But the “non-event” caused a lot of commotion and disruption in McLean last week, in the anxious days after multiple mass shootings around the country.

On Tuesday, a former employee of a business in the USA Today building sent a "suspicious" group text message to some of his former colleagues but there were no direct threats, according to Fairfax County Police.

The following day, an employee in the building overheard two co-workers discussing the text message and asked another employee for additional information.

There was a language barrier and through the use of a cell phone translator program, the message was interpreted as a present threat of a man in the building with a gun. Building security relayed the information they received to our dispatch center, prompting the emergency response. Our investigation determined that no one was actually seen with a gun and we do not have any evidence that the subject who sent the text message was at the building on Wednesday.

No evidence of criminal activity was found after officers searched an office building located at 7950 Jones Branch Drive in Tysons. Officers were initially called shortly before noon when an employee of the building reported a man with a gun. No gunshots or acts of violence were reported but officers, along with members of our Special Operations Division, meticulously searched the building while employees sheltered in place until they could be safely evacuated.

A person of interest was identified in an unrelated area of the county and officers spoke with him, however, criminal charges are not expected.