Who Is The Capitol Gunman? The White House Is On Lockdown After Shots Fired
The U.S. Capitol was on lockdown after gunshots were reported in the area. Who is the Capitol gunman? The Capitol's Sergeant at Arms released a statement that the shooter is in custody, NBC News reported.
The suspect's name is Larry Russell Dawson, according to The Daily Beast. During a press conference Monday afternoon, police revealed that the suspect is an adult male. He was undergoing a "routine administrative screening" when he allegedly drew a weapon and pointed it at officers. At least one officer fired and struck the suspect, who was then transported to the hospital and taken into surgery. Romper could not reach Dawson for comment, and no attorney has yet been named or appointed for him.
The Congressional complex was locked down following the incident; the lockdown was lifted at approximately 3:40 p.m. for all buildings except the Capitol Visitor Center. Officers recovered the suspect's weapon and located his vehicle on Capitol grounds; it will be "cleared of hazards" and seized once a search warrant is issued. Police believe they know the suspect "through previous contact." Dawson reportedly stood on the balcony of the House of Representatives in October 2015 and disrupted the session, according to The Daily Beast. He claimed to be a "prophet of God."
A female civilian was hit by shrapnel, according to CNN. Early reports indicated that a police officer was shot, but no officers were injured. Congress is not currently in session, but Capitol staffers were asked to shelter in place, and anyone outside was advised to "seek cover," according to CNN.
The U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Office tweeted at 4:50 p.m. that the shelter in place was no longer in effect and that "the Capitol is open for official business only."
CNN reported that authorities believe the shooting was an isolated incident. The U.S. Capitol Police do not believe there are additional suspects, and there have been no more gunshots reported.
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is underground, according to The Washington Post; anyone who enters is required to go through a metal detector. During the afternoon press conference, the police indicated that they believe the screening process is still effective but stressed that they are still collecting information on the incident.
This time of year is popular for visits to Washington, D.C. According to CNN, that meant many of the people at the Capitol were tourists. D.C.'s famous National Cherry Blossom Festival is ongoing through April 17, and the White House Easter Egg Roll was also held Monday. Police stressed that civilians should not be concerned about visiting the Capitol tomorrow. All Capitol facilities, including the Visitor Center, are expected to be open.