US Capitol complex on lockdown after reports motorist rams officers

Clay Curtis
April 3, 2021

The law enforcement officials told the AP that the suspect was shot and was being taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The exact circumstances of the officer's death are not yet clear.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered that the flags flown over the US Capitol be flown at half-staff in honor of the officer, her spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet Friday, while several lawmakers and top administration officials immediately offered their condolences.

In the video clips, a heavy police presence is seen on the premises of the Capitol, which is sealed off with yellow tape.

The U.S. Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting and staff were told they could not enter or exit buildings.

The FBI's Washington, D.C., field office said it had "responded to an incident at the U.S. Capitol" and is providing support to Capitol Police.

The city's acting police chief has said the attack does not appear to be terrorism-related.

President Joe Biden left Washington earlier in the day for Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

The crash and shooting happened at a security checkpoint near the Capitol as Congress is on recess.

However, some reporters, maintenance workers and Capitol Hill employees are likely still on the Capitol grounds. Since then security officials have said there is an ongoing threat from extreme right groups and Trump supporters.

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Capitol Hill has been tense over the past three months.

But just weeks later, we are back here with blocked roads, extra troops, and a solemn feeling. Congress is now on recess.

They say, understandably, that it is scary to have your workplace attacked twice in a short space of time.

What do we know about the attack?

A man rammed a auto into two Capitol Police officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday afternoon before being shot to death by authorities when he got out of the vehicle while holding what appeared to be a knife, two law enforcement officials said on Friday.

He exited the vehicle and ran towards the officers - at least one of whom drew a weapon and shot the suspect.

The officials said both Capitol Police officers were taken to the hospital, with at least one in serious condition. Videos from the scene showed what looked like two people on stretchers being loaded into ambulances.

Pittman said the suspect did not appear to have been on the police's radar.

Police and National Guardsmen responded swiftly as the situation unfolded Friday, immediately moving to secure the Capitol as initial reports of violence began to emerge. We will update as the situation develops.

Authorities have begun only in the past couple of weeks to remove the outer ring of high, razor-wire-topped fencing erected around the sprawling Capitol complex after an attack on January 6 by thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

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