U.S. Capitol, visitor center lockdown ended

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  • The U.S. Capitol Building was briefly placed in lockdown Friday

Washington (CNN)The U.S. Capitol and Capitol Visitor Center were placed on lockdown briefly Friday morning, but the shelter in place order has since ended.

Capitol Hill police ordered the lockdown while they investigated a suspicious item in the backpack of an employee shortly before 9 a.m. ET, Capitol Police said in a statement
    The employee was stopped as he or she passed through the tunnel that connects the Rayburn House Office Building to the U.S. Capitol.
    "Out of an abundance of caution, the Capitol was placed on lockdown to keep everyone safe until the circumstances could be verified," the Capitol Police said.
    "Upon further investigation, USCP determined that the item was not a threat to the safety and security of the Congressional community, and the lockdown was immediately lifted."
    The Capitol Police said it would continue to urge Members of Congress, staff and visitors to be aware of their surroundings while in the U.S. Capitol complex and to report any unusual activity to the authorities.