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Probe: Capitol Police Squad Told to Stand Down

WASHINGTON (AP) — A specially trained tactical Capitol Police squad was recalled from responding to the Washington Navy Yard rampage in part because of concerns about possible threats to the U.S. Capitol, according to a report released Friday that calls the decision reasonable.

The two-page document says the unit, which responds to emergencies like the mass shooting, became stuck in traffic and was unable to reach the command post during the Sept. 16 shooting. A supervisor recalled the four-member unit because of concerns about possible threats at the U.S. Capitol and because there were no further requests for help, the report states.

A summary of the findings was released Friday by the Capitol Police Board, which oversees the agency. The investigation was launched days after the shooting amid reports that a Capitol Police supervisor told the Containment and Emergency Response Team to stand down instead of respond to the shooting.

Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer, who serves on the Capitol Police Board, said the decision to recall the unit made sense in light of the fact that the officers had not even reached the building and were not prepared to go in.

"I think speculating on whether anybody including the CERT officers could have made a difference is actually unfair," Gainer said in an interview with The Associated Press, later adding, "Over my 43 years (in law enforcement), I always question whether I could have done something different to prevent a crime."

The gunman, Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist and government contractor, killed 12 people inside the building where he worked before dying in a police shootout. The FBI has said he was suffering from delusions.

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