Two Capitol Police officers were injured on Friday afternoon when a car rammed into a barrier on Independence Avenue. According to early reports, the driver of the car was then apparently shot by responding officers before he was taken into custody.
An alert sent out on Friday advised people that there was an external security threat and that entry and exit to the Capitol Campus Buildings was prohibited. People were able to continue moving about inside the buildings but were advised to stay away from doors and windows, those who were outside were advised to seek shelter.
The Washington, D.C., Fire Department confirmed to Newsweek that they responded to reports of a shooting with “at least one” victim.
Washington, D.C. radio station WTOP has a picture of the vehicle, a dark blue sedan, with the hood crumpled, and reporter Michael Miller reports that one of the officers was airlifted to a local hospital, which would indicate that the injuries they suffered were serious.
The National Guard is marching into place along Constitution Avenue, Miller said. He added that Constitution Avenue was blocked off for at least a block, as far as he could see.
“It’s clear that something happened there; the intent of this person is something we’ll find out” eventually, Miller said.
Miller said that loudspeakers throughout the building were telling people “everything must be shut down right now.”
Congress is not in session at the moment, but staffers and other workers are still on the job.
According to USA Today, the incident took place on the north side of the Capitol complex.
The gated entrance is one of several that allow access to the U.S. Capitol and is primarily used by senators and staff.
Access to the Capitol premises has been heavily guarded since a pro-Trump mob stormed the building on Jan. 6 in a riot that led to five deaths.
Two layers of 8-foot fences, topped with barbed wire, were erected in the aftermath – one that surrounded the Capitol and another that surrounded the overall campus and blocks of federal buildings, including the Supreme Court and Library of Congress.
The outer fence was taken down late last month, which allowed pedestrians and vehicles closer access to the Capitol, including the area where this incident took place.
At the moment, there’s no word of any shots fired by the suspect who rammed the officers, though officers appear to have shot the suspect in response. The Associated Press is reporting that the suspect “appeared to have a knife,” though that has not yet been confirmed by Capitol Police officials.
There’s also no word yet on the identify of the individual who was taken into custody or what their motivation might have been, but we’ll update this post as more information comes in.
The AP is now reporting that the suspect in the incident died at a local hospital, while one of the two officers who was injured is reported to be in serious condition.
The latest report from the Associated Press is that one of the two officers struck by the car has died from their injuries as well.