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Intern to Police: 'I Didn't Think That Was in There'

(Scott J. Ferrel/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The intern arrested for bringing an unloaded 9mm handgun to work allegedly told Capitol Police, "I didn't think that was in there," after officers discovered the semi-automatic weapon in his bag Monday.  

Joshua Wheeler, 25, told police he had planned to go to the gun range with a relative over the weekend, "but didn't get to go," according to documents filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court. Wheeler claimed he saw the magazine in his bag before he came to work Monday morning, and took it out. An eyewitness said Wheeler stood “off to the side, digging through his bag” before joining the screening line at the New Jersey and C Street entrance of the Longworth House Office Building.  

The police affidavit states Wheeler entered the building at approximately 8:50 a.m. He placed a black bag on the X-ray belt as part of the security screening. An officer discovered the handgun, which "appeared to be operable" inside the bag.  

Wheeler, two weeks into a summer internship in Kansas Republican Lynn Jenkins' office, was detained in handcuffs and frisked for weapons. He also told police he had purchased the handgun in Kansas and drove to D.C. with it in his vehicle.  

Josh Wheeler Affidavit