U.S. Capitol on lockdown
Bradley Klapper and Laurie Kellman –
According to the Associated Press, police sat the U.S. Capitol has been put on a security lockdown. There have been reports of shots fired outside the building.
The shooting unfolded after police chased a black up Constitution Avenue toward the Capitol, said tourist Edmund Ofori-Attah, who walked toward the scene as the car stopped.
“Then I heard the gunfire” and hit the ground, he said.
Se. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told reporters he was walking from the Capitol to the Senate Russell Office Building across the street when he noticed several police officers driving fast up Constitution Avenue on motorcycles.
“Within seconds of that,” Casey said, “we heard three, four, or five pops,” which he assumed were gunshots. He said police ordered Casey and nearby tourists to crouch behind a car for protection.
People standing outside the Supreme Court across the street from Congress were hurried into the court building by authorities.
In a notice distributed by email, the U.S. Capitol Police advised everyone to “close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows.”
The notice said gunshots have been reported on Capitol Hill. A police officer was reported injured while putting the entire complex on lockdown.
“There are reports of injuries,” said Terrance Gainer, the Senate’s Sergeant at Arms.
FBI agents were also headed to the scene.
After nearly an hour, police ended the lockdown.
The shooting comes two weeks after mentally disturbed employee terrorized the Navy Yard with a shotgun, leaving 13 people dead including the gunman.
As a warning sounded, the House abruptly went into recess and lawmakers left the chamber floor. The Senate also suspended business.
Before the disruption, lawmakers had been trying to find common ground to end a government shutdown. The House had just finished approving legislation aimed at partly lifting the government shutdown by paying National Guard and Reserve members.
The White House also was briefly locked down after the incident at Capitol Hill and the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the compound was closed to pedestrians. Secret Service said the procedures were precautionary.