DETROIT (WJBK) - Every man and woman who walks through the security checkpoint at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center has to pass through a security check. That includes having your bag x-rayed to make sure that you're not carrying a weapon.
But on Monday, someone got through that security and slipped through the system in the unique county-city building. And he did so while apparently carrying a handgun in his bag that was x-rayed.
Detroit police say the man walked right through the security entrance carrying what Chief James Craig says is a revolver in his bag.
"It depicts what appears to be a 38 revolver a short barrel, probably 2-inch 38," Craig said.
The man is still unidentified but appears to be in his 50s and was wearing a dark suit. He walked in around 8:40 am. Detroit Police were notified 45 minutes later.
"Someone should have told us. Someone definitely dropped the ball," Assistant Police Chief Steve Dolunt said.
Craig said that delay allowed the man enough time to get into an elevator and eventually leave. He cites the lack of communication that allowed people to enter the building from the other side, even after half of the building had been locked down.
"I'm not certain when you see an image like that going through an x-ray machine - just like at the airport - that (should be) an immediate response," Craig said.
Craig stopped short of calling it a security breach and did not point fingers at the security company.
"It's not just Wayne county and private security, it's DPD, Wayne County, and the private security. We have all got to be on the same sheet of music. We're in this together and clearly that was a failure," Craig said.
More than 100 people were evacuated from floors 9-13 and others were forced to sit inside as police swept through the building, looking for that man.
Police are still searching for the man they're calling a person of interest and an SUV that was spotted parked two blocks away earlier.
"He could've just forgot he had a gun in his briefcase. He could have said 'uh oh i have a gun in my briefcase' and just took off. At least have the decency to say 'Hey I made a mistake, I'm not a terrorist, I screwed up and the people in this building don't have to be in fear of their lives.' That's all I'm asking - come forward," Dolunt said.
Detroit police are asking him or anyone who may know him to come forward. They also said they will meet with the private security to identify what went wrong and how they can prevent it from happening again.