Gunman shot and captured after threatening officers at Capitol Visitors Center
A man with a gun walked into the underground U.S. Capitol Visitor Center on Monday and was shot and wounded by police after he pointed the weapon at officers, police said.
The suspect and a female bystander, who suffered wounds, were taken to the hospital, Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said at a news conference.
No police officers were injured, Verderosa said. He said it was unclear how many officers fired shots. A weapon was recovered on the scene and the suspect’s vehicle was found on Capitol grounds, the police chief said.
Verderosa said the man was known to Capitol Police.
“Based on initial investigation, we believe this is an act of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before. There is no reason to believe this is anything more than a criminal act,” Verderosa said.
A U.S. government official said no evidence had materialized of a connection to terrorism.
On a day when the Senate and House of Representatives were not working and few lawmakers were in Washington, the Capitol building was briefly locked down, but then reopened for official business. The Capitol Visitor Center is used chiefly by tourists.
Police did not identify the suspect and said he was the only one.
The U.S. Secret Service temporarily cleared tourists from an area around the White House, but activities quickly returned to normal. A report that a person tried to gain entry to the White House was incorrect, a Secret Service spokesman said.
The District of Columbia Police Department, a separate force from the U.S. Capitol police, called the shooting an isolated incident and said there was no threat to the public.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; Additonal reporting by Mark Hosenball, Susan Cornwell, Roberta Rampton and Susan Heavey; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Grant McCool)