The California Highway Patrol investigated an active safety threat at the Capitol on Tuesday, prompting alarm and confusion before officials said the threat had passed.
A CHP spokesman confirmed at noon Tuesday that “we did get a threat and a person is in custody” but said the suspect was not taken into custody on the Capitol grounds. Cody James Moore, 20, was arrested on suspicion of threats to a government official and threats to commit a crime resulting in death or great bodily injury, according to the Sacramento County website.
The CHP spokesman, Sgt. Steve White, said miscommunication led to state employees being warned about an active shooter or a shelter-in-place requirement, neither of which occurred. He did not provide additional detail on the threat, citing an ongoing investigation.
“In this case, good information didn’t get out,” White said. “It caused a bit of an alarm for no reason.”
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At 10:20 a.m., a note sent to employees at the Third District Court of Appeal in downtown Sacramento, across 10th Street from the Capitol, said the CHP had “received a threat of an active shooter” and advised workers to “shelter in place.”
A subsequent Joint Rules Committee notice to Capitol staffers was more vague, mentioning only “a threat to the Capitol” and saying there was no need to respond with “a change in Capitol operations.” It was later updated with a notice saying “threat is no longer imminent.”
By 10:58 a.m., a CHP spokeswoman said there was “no active shooter.” Roughly 20 minutes later, employees were told that “the threat has been cleared” and they could return to work.
Senate Chief Sergeant-at-Arms Debbie Manning also said there was no active shooter but declined to go into further detail on the threat she said the CHP was investigating.
CHP officers at the Capitol and the court said they were aware of the threat warning but did not know its genesis. Outside the court building at Capitol Mall, employees milled about while a SUV filled with SWAT officers stood guard.
Workers in the Capitol said they had not seen or heard anything unusual. Some noted that an active shooter workshop for staff, in which they would be advised on how to react to such a situation, was planned for later in the month.
Editor’s note: This post was updated at 12:10 p.m. Sept. 20 with comment from CHP Sgt. Steve White.