Gunshots Outside Capitol, Suspect Dead

National Journal
Matt Berman
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Matt Berman
Oct. 3, 2013, 10:24 a.m.

Gun­shots have been fired out­side of the U.S. Cap­it­ol Build­ing in Wash­ing­ton.

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. 

At a press con­fer­ence Thursday night, the Cap­it­ol Po­lice con­firmed that the sus­pect was killed and that there was a one-year-old child in the car. The child did not sus­tain in­jur­ies and is now in pro­tect­ive cus­tory, ac­cord­ing to Cap­it­ol Po­lice.

CNN re­ports that all shots came from law en­force­ment.

At an even­ing press con­fer­ence, Cap­it­ol Po­lice Chief Kim Dine said that one of­ficer, a 23-year vet­er­an of the force, was in­jured dur­ing a crash crash and is now in good stable con­di­tion. “I per­son­ally spoke with the of­ficer and he is do­ing well,” he said at an even­ing press con­fer­ence.

The in­vest­ig­a­tion is on­go­ing. Of­fi­cials did not an­swer ques­tions about the sus­pect Thursday night, but had said earli­er that “we have no in­form­a­tion that this is re­lated to ter­ror­ism or that this is re­lated to any­thing oth­er than an isol­ated in­cid­ent.”

The House went in­to re­cess a little be­fore 2:30 p.m. and re­star­ted floor activ­ity at 3:30 p.m. Fol­low­ing a brief mo­ment of si­lence, mem­bers re­turned 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.

Here are up­dates from Con­gress on Twit­ter:

Shots fired out­side the Cap­it­ol. We are in tem­por­ary lock down.

— Claire Mc­Caskill (@clair­ecmc) Oc­to­ber 3, 2013

There had been some short of shoot­ing here at the cap­it­al, we r on lock­down await­ing more info

— Jared Pol­is (@jared­pol­is) Oc­to­ber 3, 2013

I am told shoot­er has been ar­res­ted. House floor activ­ity stopped for now.

— Tim Griffin (@Tim­GriffinAR2) Oc­to­ber 3, 2013

We’ll get you all the in­form­a­tion we have as it comes in from our re­port­ers on the Hill.

Tim Alberta, Matt Vasilogambros, Clara Ritger, Lucia Graves, George E. Condon Jr., Elahe Izad, Billy House and Michael Catalin contributed to this article.
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