A man rammed a car into two Capitol Police officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday afternoon before being shot to death by authorities when he got out of the vehicle while holding what appeared to be a knife, two law enforcement officials said on Friday.
Both Capitol Police officers were taken to the hospital, with one of the officers dying as a result of undisclosed injuries, officials said. The suspect also died at a hospital.
Police did not release names of the three individuals in the incident, pending notification of next of kin.
The crash and shooting happened at a checkpoint near the Capitol as Congress is on recess. It comes as the Washington region remains on edge nearly three months after a mob of armed insurrectionists stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win.
Capitol Police say that someone “rammed a vehicle into two USCP officers” and that a suspect was taken into custody. At least one of the officers was seriously injured, the officials said.
The law enforcement officials told the AP that the suspect was shot and was being taken to the hospital in critical condition. One of the officers who was injured was taken by police car to the hospital; the other was being transported by emergency medical crews, the officials said.
The officials could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Congress not in session, president away at Camp David
The U.S. Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting and staff were told they could not enter or exit buildings.
The crash occurred about 91 metres from the entrance of the building on the Senate side of the Capitol. Fencing that prevented vehicular traffic near that area was recently removed as the Capitol has started to open up after the Jan. 6 riots.
The security checkpoint is typically used by senators and staff on weekdays. Congress is currently on recess.
Video posted online showed a dark-coloured sedan crashed against a vehicle barrier and a police dog inspecting the vehicle. Law enforcement and paramedics could be seen caring for at least one unidentified individual.
Biden had just departed the White House for Camp David when the incident occurred. As customary, he was traveling with a member of the National Security Council Staff who was expected to brief him on the incident.
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