Woman with gun tries to enter Detroit City Hall; she will be charged Wednesday

Wayne County sheriff's spokeswoman says woman from California stopped at the security gate on ground floor of Coleman Young Municipal Center

DETROIT - Authorities say a woman trying to enter Detroit City Hall was stopped after security officers found a gun in her purse.

Wayne County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Paula Bridges says the woman and a man from California were stopped Tuesday afternoon at the security gate on the ground floor of the Coleman Young Municipal Center. She describes the gun as a .38 caliber.

The woman was arrested and will be charged with carrying a concealed weapon, Bridges said. She will be arraigned Wednesday.

The man with her will not be charged.

Local 4 has learned when the woman's purse went through the checkpoint alarms sounded and she was immediately detained by Sheriff's deputies. The magnet-driven checkpoint machine itself confiscated the weapon.

The security equipment is less than 1 year old. It was purchased for City Council through a grant from U.S. Homeland Security.

"I fell perfectly safe and I'm glad they caught whoever brought in a gun either intentionally or unintentionally," said City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown.

The City Council building is operated by the Detroit-Wayne Building Authority and patrolled by the Sheriff's Office.

City Hall has guards, metal detectors and other screening for the public.

Brown said he is more concerned about last week's courtroom incident when Oakland County Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic suffered a heart attack on the stand which sent deputies scrambling for safety equipment.

"We're more likely to have an incident with a heart attack in this building than having someone get shot in this building. So, I'm more concerned about where the defibrillators are and can people operate them and find them when they need them," he said.

The building authority says it has no plans to change the security after this incident. However, it has been pushing to make it so everyone except elected officials would have to undergo screening to get into City Council.

The next meeting is Thursday morning.

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