Gunshots Outside Capitol, Suspect Reportedly Dead
Gunshots have been fired outside of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington.
A female suspect was shot by police at the conclusion of the car chase, says a Capitol Police Officer. ABC News reports that the suspect is dead, while the Associated Press reports that the suspect is in custody, and her condition has not been not disclosed. The Senate sergeant-at-arms says that there was a child in the suspect's car, but the child did not sustain injuries. CNN reports that all shots came from law enforcement.
National Journal has confirmed that the incident began at the White House when a car attempted to crash one of the barriers on an outer perimeter of the White House. That sparked a brief and complete lockdown of the White House, with a heightened security presence and a pushback of all tourists on Pennsylvania Avenue.
A Capitol Police officer tells NJ that one of his colleagues is injured and currently being treated. Another officer says that the injured officer is in stable condition. The officer was injured during the car crash, not from shots fired. The Senate sergeant-at-arms believes that the officer "does not appear to have life-threatening injuries."
At a Captiol Police press conference, Police Chief Kim Dine said that "we have no information that this is related to terrorism or that this is related to anything other than an isolated incident." He confirmed that a USCP officer was "struck," and said that he "appears to be conscious and breathing."
Capitol Police are currently working what they are calling two separate crime scenes. One of them is at First and Constitution, where the car crash took place. The second is at Second and Maryland Avenue, where the nonpolice vehicle is currently located.
The House went into recess a little before 2:30 p.m. and restarted floor activity at 3:30. There was a brief moment of silence, and then members went right back to discussion of the House GOP funding bills.
The president was briefed on the incident this afternoon.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was in his office in the Hart Building when he heard, "pop, pop, pop, and then pop again." He thought it was the start of construction and thought, "God, I don't need this all afternoon." He said he soon found out that it was gunfire and that he then welcomed 10-15 Capitol visitors to his office when the lockdown order was given.
"I didn't get my Marine sword down to do battle," Roberts said. "But I was ready to."
House Minority Leader Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke to reporters and members outside the House chamber.
"There were gunshots," she said, moving from member to member sitting outside the chamber.
Initially, upon word of the alert, security personnel in the chamber immediately slammed shut and locked the doors to the lobby outside, with reporters and some of the members inside.
Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., told reporters he assumed any gunshots were intended at members.
On the balcony by the speaker's lobby, Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., tells National Journal that "we could not see anybody nor hear flashes, but we could distinctly hear it sounded like fireworks, a big fireworks display and then we realized it's not fireworks. And then we realized it sounded more like the first volley of a 21 gun salute. 7,7,7, because it was very close together, a very loud burst."
Reporters and people at the Capitol were initially told to shelter in place, but that order was lifted before 3. At that point, there were NCIS and FBI officers on the scene.
Rob Fox, a furloughed EPA employee who came to the Capitol to protest the shutdown, said that he saw a car "on the ramp that goes directly up to the steps of the Capitol and it stopped right behind the barricades."
Dylan Price, 30, was standing on First Street between Independence and Constitution Avenues when he heard four or five pops. As one barricade was raised, a police car got snagged and flipped over.