Capitol Shooting - Full Developing Story
The situation in DC is fluid, but here is the most coherent narrative so far from NBC Washington DC:
A woman opened fire near the U.S. Capitol after trying to ram her car into the White House gates Thursday afternoon; she was then shot.
A U.S. Capitol Police officer was injured in the event, though it is not clear that the officer was shot.
The incident began at about 2:30 p.m. at the White House gates at 15th and E streets, NBC News confirmed. The driver tried to ram the gates but failed, and then was pursued by Secret Service.
She bailed out of her car near the Capitol building and began shooting, NBC News' Pete Williams reported.
Some reports said that as many as 10 to 15 rounds were fired. The injured officer was airlifted to an area hospital.
The U.S. Capitol building was on lockdown after the shooting, though that lockdown has now been lifted. Parts of Pennsylvania Avenue are still closed.
The House recessed, and the Senate went into a quorum call. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said she was told to shelter-in-place. Pennsylvania Avenue is closed in the area, and tourists were evacuated.
NBC News correspondent Luke Russert reported hearing three or four booms from his office and seeing 40-50 people hit the ground.
According to Fox reports the woman was 18 years old and there also a child in the car. The child is said to be unhurt.
This is Reuters' take:
The U.S. Capitol was locked down briefly on Thursday after gunshots were fired outside the building following a car chase across central Washington and a number of people including a law enforcement officer were hurt, officials said. A female suspect was killed by police at the scene, a U.S. official said.
The shooting rattled the U.S. capital three weeks after 12 people were killed and three injured in a shooting spree by a government technology contractor at the U.S. Navy Yard, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the Capitol.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate were in session when the gunshots were heard. The U.S. government was partially shut down this week when lawmakers failed to agree on a budget.
A source familiar with the situation said the incident started when a vehicle struck a security barrier at 15th and Pennsylvania avenue, near the White House. Police chased the vehicle for about 1 1/2 miles to 2nd Street and Constitution Avenue, near the Capitol, where the shots were fired.
"I was just eating a hot dog over here and I heard about four or five gunshots, and then a swarm of police cars came in wailing their sirens," said Whit Dabney, 13, who was visiting from Louisville, Kentucky, and heard the shots a couple of blocks away.
A policeman was injured in a car crash resulting from the chase and was taken from the shooting scene in a Medevac helicopter, a U.S. official and police said.
The lockdown order at the Capitol was called off and security along Independence Avenue was eased shortly before 3 p.m. (1900 GMT). Tourists were allowed back onto the Capitol grounds.
Just before Capitol Police sealed off the building, the Senate and House were in session. On the Senate floor, Senator John McCain of Arizona was urging that President Barack Obama and a bipartisan group of senators launch negotiations to break the deadlock over government funding and a debt limit increase.
The House had just passed a bill to fund the National Guard and reservists who are not on active duty during the shutdown.
More reports from Reuters:
- Rescue personnel stand around a smashed U.S. Capitol Police car following a shooting near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 3, 2013.
- Reuters Wire: U.S. official says that a female suspect in the U.S. Capitol shooting killed by police. The female suspect first tried to ram through White House security barricades. Police say they believe a child was in the car pursued in the Capitol shooting.
Reuters' Mark Hosenball reports: "Further to this point, a U.S. official said there is at present no indication of any connection to terrorism, though this information is only preliminary."
- Reuters' Thomas Ferraro reports a message verbatim from U.S. Capitol Police to Congressional personnel: “The incident involving gunshots fired on the Senate side of the Congressional Complex appears to be an isolated event and there is no current threat to the Senate community. U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms staff are continuing to monitor the situation and will provide further updates as necessary.”
- Reuters' Mark Hosenball reports from a source: The person involved in the incident was a woman. Initial reporting inside the government indicates that she tried to crash through barricades and get into White House complex. She then fled down Pennsylvania Ave in a car. She crashed by the Capitol. She was shot and killed by Capitol Police. One policeman was injured in the car crash, not by shooting. First responders were attending to her when she died.
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