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A bartender at Comet, who said he didn't see a gun himself, told News4 everyone inside started to panic as the man walked to the back of the restaurant. Customers and employees evacuated.
One shot was fired into the floor, but no one was hurt, police said.
D.C. police spokeswoman Aquita Brown said they detained a 28-year-old man from Salisbury, North Carolina, the Associated Press reported.
The incident has not been linked to terrorism or to recent threats to the business, which started when an online conspiracy theory started circulating, police said.