A U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) bomb squad detonated a pressure cooker found in a parked car on the National Mall Sunday, raising security concerns amid the long holiday weekend.
Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider, a U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman, said in statement that the pressure cooker was found in an unattended “suspicious” car that smelled of gasoline late Sunday afternoon, as crowds gathered for the annual Memorial Day concert at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
The bomb squad destroyed "items of concern in the vehicle including the pressure cooker" Sunday evening, Schneider said. She did not identify the other items.
Schneider said "this safe disruption produced a loud bang."
“At about 8:20 pm, the USCP concluded its investigation of the suspicious vehicle with negative results and nothing hazardous found,” she added.
Washington, D.C.’s police and fire departments, the U.S. Park Police, U.S. Secret Service and FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force took part in the investigation.
Pressure cookers have been used in the past to make improvised bombs, including those used in the Boston Marathon attack.
The car’s owner, an Alexandria, Va. man identified as Israel Shimeles, was arrested and charged with “operating after revocation,” Schneider said.
— This report was updated at 9:27 a.m.