A man illegally brought a handgun into the Wisconsin Capitol, demanding to see Gov. Tony Evers, and returned at night with an assault rifle after posting bail, a spokesperson for the state said Thursday.
The man, who was shirtless and had a holstered handgun, approached the governor's office on the first floor of the Capitol around 2 p.m. Wednesday, state Department of Administration spokesperson Tatyana Warrick said. The man was demanding to see the governor, who was not in the building at the time, Warrick said.
A Capitol police officer sits at a desk outside of a suite of rooms that includes the governor's office, conference room and offices for the attorney general.
The man was taken into custody for openly carrying a firearm in the Capitol, which is against the law, Warrick said. Weapons can be brought into the Capitol if they are concealed and the person has a valid permit. The man arrested did not have a concealed carry permit, Warrick said.
The man was booked into the Dane County Jail but later posted bail.
He returned to the outside of the Capitol shortly before 9 p.m. with an assault-style rifle, Warrick said. The building closes to the public at 6 p.m. He again demanded to see the governor and was taken into custody.
Madison police reported Thursday that the man, who was not named, was taken into protective custody and taken to the hospital. A spokesperson for the police department did not return an email seeking additional details.
Evers' spokesperson Britt Cudaback declined to comment. The governor's office typically does not respond to questions about security issues.
The incident is just the latest in a series of violent threats against public officials.
Evers, a Democrat, was on a hit list of a gunman suspected of fatally shooting a retired county judge at his Wisconsin home in 2022. Others on that list included Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Whitmer was the target of a kidnapping plot in 2020.
Warrick said no immediate changes to security in the Capitol or for the governor were planned. The public has free access to the Capitol daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are no metal detectors.