The FBI used a well-known Washington, D.C., nightclub as a training spot in an effort to better respond to active shooter situations.
Heavily-armed agents and unmarked law enforcement vehicles surrounded the popular 930 Club near the U Street entertainment area on Monday. They went into the building, but they kept their tactics hidden from public view.
“The agents were there for preparedness training,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Sundberg with the FBI counterterrorism team. “Responses to active shooter or other threat calls that we may get. We train at a wide variety of venues. Today happened to be the 930 Club.”
Agents carried mock-ups of powerful weapons during the exercise. The show of force reminded passersby of the Orlando mass shooting in June that killed 49 people.
Throughout the national capital region, many of the hundreds of nightclubs and nighttime entertainment locations have improved and increased their security.
"D.C. nightlife establishments engage in year-round efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for patrons,” according to a statement from the D.C. Nightlife Hospitality Association. “These precautions are not readily apparent or discussed by operators in order to maintain their effectiveness."
The FBI said there are no specific threats in the Washington region but said businesses and customers need to be alert, not afraid.
“The first call is always 911, if something emergency happens,” said Sundberg. “It is going to be local police response first, and that is the most critical.”