Police Shoot Gunman Who Reportedly Pulled Out Firearm in U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol police shot a gunman Monday who allegedly pulled out a firearm and aimed it at an officer in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. The shooter was apparently wounded and is now in police custody.

Earlier reports said one Capitol police officer had been injured by the gunman, but that information was incorrect and no cops were wounded in the attempted ambush. At least one female visitor was hurt by shrapnel, according to CNN, though the injuries are not believed to be serious. 

This is the act of one individual,” Capitol police chief Matthew Verderosa told reporters in a press conference after the incident. “There is no reason to believe this is no more than a criminal act.” Verderosa also said the suspect was “known” to law enforcement, but he did not confirm his identity. Some sources are identifying the shooter as Larry Dawson of Antioch, Tennessee. A man by that name was arrested by Capitol police last fall for an outburst in the middle of a House session, reports the Daily Beast. He allegedly screamed that he was a “prophet of God” while lawmakers were speaking on the floor.

Police also said the suspect’s car was found on the U.S. Capitol grounds, but law enforcement is awaiting a search warrant before it can access the vehicle.

D.C. metro police called this an “isolated incident” and say there’s no larger threat to the city. Congress is on recess, so the Hill is mostly emptied of lawmakers, but this is a popular tourist week with the National Cherry Blossom Festival under way.

The Capitol building and part of the White House — which had its annual Easter egg roll earlier Monday — were put on lockdown. The White House lifted its lockdown first, and police later ended the shelter-in-place order at the Capitol, though the building is closed to visitors. According to some reports, the Capitol had a lockdown drill earlier this morning. 

This post contains breaking news and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Capitol Police Shoot Alleged U.S. Capitol Gunman