Man shot by police after drawing weapon at US Capitol

Staff Writer

UPDATED 3/28/16 4:20 P.M.

WASHINGTON (AP) โ€” Capitol Police officers say a man was shot by police after drawing a weapon at a U.S. Capitol checkpoint.

He was taken to the hospital.

A female bystander also sustained minor injuries.

Chief of Police Matthew R. Verderosa tells reporters that the suspect was known to police. However, he would not confirm reports that it was the same man who disrupted the House chamber last fall by shouting.

The Capitol was on lockdown for about an hour after the initial incident and staffers were told to shelter in place. Early reports said an officer was hit, but that proved erroneous.

UPDATED 3/28/2:56 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) โ€” A gunman was taken into custody after firing shots in the U.S. Capitol complex on Monday, Capitol officials said, and visitors and staff were shut in their offices and told to "shelter in place."

Initial reports said a police officer sustained minor injuries, but later reports raised doubts about who, if anyone, was shot.

The event unfolded with Congress on recess and lawmakers back in their districts. The White House was briefly put on lockdown, but that was soon lifted. A notification sent to Senate offices said no further suspects appeared to be at large, and most Capitol Hill buildings were later re-opened for business.

The shooting occurred in the Visitors Center of the sprawling Capitol complex. Staffers, reporters and others were told to "shelter in place" while the incident was being investigated.

Visitors were being turned away from the Capitol as emergency vehicles flooded the street and the plaza on the building's eastern side. Police, some carrying long guns, cordoned off the streets immediately around the building, which were thick with tourists visiting for spring holidays and the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Cathryn Leff of Temicula, California, in town to lobby with the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, said she was going through security at the main entrance to the Capitol Visitors Center when police told people to leave immediately.

Outside, on the plaza just to the east of the Capitol, other officers told those there to "get down behind this wall," she said. "I heard what sounded like two shots off to my left." After a while police told her and others to keep running. "I felt like I was in a movie. It didn't feel real at all."

Traffic was jammed in the vicinity, but despite the obvious emergency the scene was relatively calm. A work crew on the north side of the Supreme Court, across the street, was asked to stop work and move away from the building as a precaution.

Capitol Police did not immediately return calls seeking clarification about the incident.

From back home in their districts many lawmakers got in touch with staff to ensure all were safe, and posted thanks on Twitter as it appeared they were.

Earlier in the day, officials conducted an unrelated shelter-in-place drill at the Capitol.

Associated Press writers Mark Sherman, Mary Clare Jalonick and Alan Fram contributed to this report.

ORIGINAL STORY

WASHINGTON (AP) โ€” A U.S. Capitol Police officer was shot Monday at the Capitol Visitor Center complex, and the shooter was taken into custody, Capitol officials and police said.

The event unfolded with Congress on recess and lawmakers back in their districts.

It occurred in the Visitors Center of the sprawling Capitol Complex. Staffers, reporters and others were told to "shelter in place" and not allowed to leave their offices. The White House and the Capitol complex were put on lockdown.

The police officer who was shot was not believed to be seriously injured.

Capitol Police did not immediately return calls and no further information was available.

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