By NATASHA BERTRAND, ANDREW DESIDERIO and LARA SELIGMAN
04/01/2021 08:49 PM EDT
The Army has dispatched its in-house criminal investigative arm to probe the potential theft of a rifle from the D.C. National Guard while the unit was training in Virginia three weeks ago, an Army spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.
The M4 rifle and its scope went missing around March 11, according to two people familiar with the investigation, as members of a quick reaction force that was formed to protect the U.S. Capitol were training at a weapons range at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.
A misplaced or unaccounted-for rifle is a major security risk, Guard members said, especially due to the current mission of securing the Capitol after a mob of insurrectionists breached the building on Jan. 6. The nation’s capital remains on high alert nearly three months after the attack, amid continued warnings about potential extremist threats to the area.