The U.S. Capitol was on lockdown after reports of shots fired at the Capitol Visitor Center on Mar. 28. Shots have been reported at the visitor’s center at the Capitol building. An email has been sent to senate staff, asking for workers to shelter in place.
…’alleged gunman, Larry Russel Dawson, 67, shot, in custody of capitol police’
Supect had history of being a public nuisance; previous altercations with capitol police
Under court orders to stay away from capitol after interrupting house proceedings last year
A lockdown of Capitol Hill was lifted Monday afternoon after reports of shots fired at the U.S. Capitol closed the multi-building complex just before 3 p.m.
The Capitol Police announced the Capitol was again open for official business, though the Capitol Visiter Center remained closed as of 4 p.m.
A House alert email to Capitol Hill staffers after 3:30 p.m. informed them the House, Senate and Library of Congress buildings had been returned to normal operation, but noted, “The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center will remain closed until further notice.”
The Senate sergeant at arms issued a statement Monday afternoon as the reports began streaming in: “Shooter has been caught. One police officer shot, but not seriously. Remain sheltered in place.”
However, some news networks have reported no officers were shot during the encounter:
“The Capitol has been locked down due to reports of shots being fired at the Capitol Visitors Center. No other information is available at this time,” supervisors of the House Daily Press Gallery said in a statement.
An Instagram video by user Sammy Sanchez
appears to show people being ushered out of the Capitol Visitor Center after the incident:
Tourists in the Capitol at the time were evacuated or told to shelter in place.
Laurie and Frank Kosker of New Jersey brought their daughters, Emily and Sarah, to the Capitol for a tour Monday. They were heading downstairs from the rotunda when officials told them to head back up and sit down, since they might be there for a while.
They told their kids it was just a drill — until they all heard loud muffled sounds and felt strong vibrations. That’s when they started to get scared and made a plan for what they’d do if anything happened. (There was a wall behind them that they were planning to jump behind and hide.)
To top it off, it was Sarah’s 11th birthday.
“We’re making memories in Washington,” Laurie Kosker joked.
Tourists in the Capitol who didn’t hear the shots quickly learned something was wrong when security officials told them to shelter in place. In the crypt, people moved to the sides of the room so officers could move through the center
Travis Jackson and his family, visiting from New Mexico, were dining in the restaurant near the Capitol Visitor Center when they heard screaming and had to hide under their table.
Marium Baker, who was visiting Washington, D.C., for the first time in years from Illinois, was in the upper balcony of the Senate chamber with her two children when the Capitol went into lockdown. They were told an incident had taken place and were kept in the chamber until the all-clear was given.
“They were very calm, they were very helpful,” Baker said of Capitol Police. She said she didn’t hear any shots.
A woman named Rachel from Indiana said she and her family were just beginning their tour of the Capitol when their guide suddenly diverted the group of about 12 to Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D) office, where they were on lockdown for almost an hour and a half. It was the family’s first visit to Washington. “You don’t usually get that on the tour,” said Rachel, who declined to give her last name.
D.C. Metropolitan Police tweeted that it was an “isolated incident”:
According to The Associated Press, the White House was also put on lockdown Monday afternoon, but it was lifted by 3:20 p.m. It’s unclear whether that was related to the Capitol incident.
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