(AP/WJHL) – Officials at the U.S. Capitol say a gunman was shot and wounded at the Visitors Center after pulling out a weapon.
According to ABC News, while authorities did not release the suspect’s name, the suspect has been identified as Larry Dawson of Antioch, Tennessee.
Officials revealed, in a press conference, that Dawson was transported to a local hospital where he is in surgery. His condition is not known at this time.
CNN reported that court documents from an October 2015 incident said Dawson had an outburst in the House of Representatives chamber. He was described as a 66-year-old male from Tennessee.
The documents reported that he “…loudly stated to Congress he was a ‘Prophet of God.’”
Police also said no officers were shot in this situation, but a female bystander was injured. Her injuries are said to be minor.
The suspect is said to have been known to authorities because of previous contacts.
Chief of Police Matthew R. Verderosa tells reporters that the suspect was known to police. However, he would not confirm reports that it was the same man who disrupted the House chamber last fall by shouting.
The Capitol was on lockdown for about an hour after the initial incident and staffers were told to shelter in place. Early reports said an officer was hit, but that proved erroneous.
The incident is being described as a “criminal act,” not an act of terror.
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The event unfolded with Congress on recess and lawmakers back in their districts. The White House was briefly put on lockdown, but that was soon lifted.
The shooting occurred in the Visitors Center of the sprawling Capitol Complex. Staffers, reporters and others were told to “shelter in place” and not allowed to leave their offices.
Visitors were turned away from the Capitol as emergency vehicles flooded the street and the plaza on the building’s eastern side. Police, some carrying long guns, cordoned off the streets immediately around the building, which were thick with tourists visiting for spring holidays and the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Traffic was jammed in the vicinity, but despite the obvious emergency the scene was relatively calm. A work crew on the north side of the Supreme Court, across the street, was asked to stop work and move away from the building as a precaution.