A bomb squad removed a suspicious package from the Capitol on Monday following the evacuation of the building.
The Washington State Patrol reopened the building to workers and the public around noon Monday, about two hours after evacuating the site. A bomb squad member wearing full protective gear and helmet carried a cloth shopping bag out of the building.
Authorities say the package was suspicious in part because it was left in a roped-off area in the center of the Rotunda.
The bag was inspected, and authorities said it contained papers with writings. The State Patrol said it was possibly an “attempt to deliver a political message.”
Washington State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins told the Northwest News Network that several witnesses saw a woman deposit a cloth shopping bag in the Rotunda and walk away.
“It was left on the state seal, which is roped off. That’s a little out of the ordinary,” Calkins said. “And then there were some writings in the bag that were not particularly threatening, but also just raised our suspicions a little bit. So we decided to go with the more conservative approach and be cautious.”
Lawmakers are not in session at the Capitol, but staff members for the Governor’s Office and other state agencies work in the building.Staff and news services