BREAKING: Shots fired at the U.S. Capitol

 Gunshots at the Capitol

Editor’s note: Updates at the bottom of the post.

Details are still coming in through news outlets and people on the scene via Twitter, but U.S. Capitol Police has confirmed that shots were fired either in or near the Capitol building in Washington, DC. CSPAN reports that a Capitol police officer was injured.

The Capitol and adjacent House and Senate office buildings have been locked down. Employees in the House received this “shelter in place” e-mail urging them to stay inside their offices or to seek shelter at the nearest available location:

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.  If you are not in your office, take shelter in the nearest office, check in with your OEC and wait for USCP to clear the incident.  No one will be permitted to enter or exit the building until directed by USCP. All staff should monitor the situation. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.

Stay tuned for updates.

[2:53pm] Hill staffers have been sent a second email: “The United States Capitol Police are continuing to investigate the police activity. All occupants are directed to shelter in place until further notice. Additional information will be provided as available.”

[2:55pm] Reports are that the gun shots came from the direction of the Rayburn House Office Building, perhaps near the United States Botanical Gardens, which is adjacent to the United States Capitol building.

[3:01pm] Fox News reports that the lockdown on Capitol Hill has been lifted. CNN has indicated that the incident started at or near the White House and ended near the Capitol building.

[3:05pm] Per Fox News, the suspect tried to ram the White House gate with their car and were chased by police to the Capitol.

[3:10pm] Chris Moody of Yahoo! News reports on Fox News that the number of tourists in the area was unusually low, largely due to the government shutdown. Only one injury, the previously mentioned USCP officer, has been confirmed.

[3:12pm] The suspect is reportedly a young woman, who apparently had an infant in the car with her. She is in custody.

[3:14pm] Another email from USCP to Hill staffers: “The United States Capitol Police have stabilized the incident. Occupants may exit their shelter in place location. Additional updates will follow.”

[3:22pm] USCP to staffers: “The United States Capitol Police have stabilized the incident and continue to investigate. Please be aware that ongoing police activities may result in limited access to certain areas of the Capitol campus.”

[3:28pm] USCP will hold a press conference at 3:30pm.

[3:30pm] CNN reports that the USCP officer injured in the incident was hit by a car, presumably by the alleged perpetrator, and has been airlifted to a local hospital.

[3:34pm] Per Fox News, the USCP officer’s injuries are not life-threatening.

[3:35pm] House is back in session. Rep. David Price (D-NC) is currently speaking about the ongoing government shutdown from the floor.

[3:36pm] USCP hasn’t confirmed that there was a child in the woman’s car, though they believe there was. They’re calling this an “isolated incident,” not a terrorist attack. No officers were shot.

[3:37pm] Here’s a photo from the press conference, via Daniel Malloy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

[3:39pm] It is unclear that the gun shots were fired by the alleged suspect. USPC is unsure that she was armed.

[3:40pm] USPC will host another press conference in around 45 minutes.

[3:51pm] Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR) jumped to conclusions before the details of the incident were clear. He urged President Obama and Democrats to “[s]top the violent rhetoric” in a now-deleted tweet. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) also told reporters that divisive rhetoric “does bring out the crazies.”

[4:04pm] The Associated Press reports that the suspect is being treated at Washington Hospital Center.

[4:05pm] Fox News notes that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was in the Republican Cloak Room, located next to the House floor, at the time of the incident.

[4:13pm] The latest update from USCP to Hill staffers: “The United States Capitol Police are continuing to investigate the police activity. The following traffic cuts are in effect: Constitution Avenue between Louisiana Avenue, NW and Third Street, NE. Pennsylvania Avenue between First Street, NW and Third Street, NW. Maryland Avenue, NW between First Street, SW to Third Street, SW.  First Street between East Capitol Street, NE and Constitution Avenue, NE. Second Street between East Capitol Street, NE and Constitution Avenue, NE. First Street between Louisiana Avenue, NW and Independence Avenue, SW.”

[4:19pm] Fox News reports that the suspect has died.

[4:24pm] Incident began at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, next to the Treasury Department, near the White House. Suspect, who has died from gunshot wounds, tried to ram through a barricade. She turned around and led the Secret Service and, eventually, USCP down Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue and was stopped at the Hart Senate Office Building, across from the United States Capitol.

[4:27pm] Suspect died at the hospital, not on the scene.

[4:30pm] USCP to Hill staffers: “At the request of the Metropolitan Police Department, a United States Park Police helicopter will be flying over the United States Capitol Complex for aerial photography.”

[4:41pm] Here’s video of part of the chase, via Lachlan Markay.

[4:55pm] The House just gave a standing ovation to USCP officers, an expression of thanks for the work they do. It’s worth noting that USCP officers aren’t being paid because of the government shutdown, though they are still on the job.


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