Capitol locked down after multiple shots fired
Update (5:56 pm): Reports now indicate that, after ramming into a security post near the White House, the black car led police on a high-speed chase to Capitol Hill.
When police stopped the car and approached with their weapons drawn, the woman driving sped away in reverse, prompting the officers to open fire on the car. There was a child inside, whom sources said appeared to be uninjured after the crash and gunfire, according to CNN.
The woman who was driving was not killed but was injured in the crash. A police officer was also injured during the chase. Both were transported to the hospital.
Original post: On Thursday afternoon around 1:30 PM, multiple shots were fired on Capitol Hill near the Senate Hart Office Building, located a few blocks from the U.S. Supreme Court. Warnings to find shelter were given over the Capitol’s speaker system, while authorities responded quickly on the scene, closing 2nd Street and Maryland Avenue, in addition to 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue NE.
The U.S. Senate was temporarily locked down after reports arrived that several people and a law enforcement officer had been injured in the shooting.
“It was almost like two very rapid fire bursts, very loud,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), who had been standing next to Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) when the shots were fired, in his report to The Washington Post, “That’s when we saw people fleeing, and we realized this was no fireworks.” Another representative, Tim Griffin, tweeted that he had heard news of the shooter’s arrest and that House floor activity had been temporarily postponed.
Meanwhile, Capitol Police sent out these orders to staffers: “SHELTER IN PLACE. Gunshots have been reported on Capitol Hill requiring all occupants in all House Office Buildings to shelter in place. Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, Go Kits and escape hoods; and move to the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows.”
At around 3 p.m. the lockdown was called off and citizens were allowed to leave their shelters. Since then, witnesses at the scene have been able to release more details about the incident. The event was actually initiated after a black car ran into a security post at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue, and police began pursuing the vehicle toward Capitol Hill.
Amidst the car chase, which included several police cars and the mysterious black vehicle, the shooting occurred, and people around the area quickly looked for safe locations.
Rep. Connolly was informed by an official that a suspect had in fact been arrested and that all injured in the incident have been transported to the hospital.
Nonetheless, the city remains on edge as the events at Capitol Hill occurred only weeks after the shooting at Navy Yard.
Photo: Marguefile via Flickr