The Capitol complex went into lockdown Friday after a driver crashed a vehicle into a barricade outside the building.
The Capitol Police said a suspect was in custody following reports of the car crash into two officers on Constitution Avenue. After ramming the car into a barricade, the driver exited the vehicle and brandished a sharp object, prompting Capitol Police officers to shoot the driver, according to a person briefed on the incident. Both the injured officers and the suspect were transported to a nearby hospital.
“A call came in at approximately 1:05 pm to the unit block of Constitution Ave, NE, for the report of a possible shooting,” said the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the incident, and the FBI’s Washington Field Office said they were responding to the incident and providing support to the Capitol Police.
The complex was locked down following the Jan. 6 riot, and a National Guard contingent was still stationed in the area. National Guardsmen ran to barricades around the Capitol, many carrying riot shields that had been stocked at the Capitol since the riot. The Capitol Police closed several blocks around the building as law enforcement responded to the scene.
Video posted on social media by reporters at the Capitol appeared to show the car crashed into a barrier outside the building. The House and Senate are currently on recess, but some lawmakers, staff, and reporters were all working on Capitol Hill.
Shortly after the lockdown, D.C. National Guard troops assigned to the Capitol were ordered to report to the unit’s armory if they were not already at the Capitol complex, according to correspondence obtained by POLITICO. A quick reaction force — the contingent of troops deputized in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack — was activated shortly before 1:30 p.m., suggesting that the threat was not yet over. A Pentagon official confirmed the deployment.
A notice sent to lawmakers and staff shortly after 1:00 pm warned them to stay away from “exterior windows and doors” and for those outside, “seek cover.”
“Please keep the Capitol Police and first responders in your prayers as we try to understand the situation unfolding at the Capitol right now,” Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) tweeted. And Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who was at the Capitol, said he was “safe and locked down.”
One House Democrat, Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York, said his staff was briefed by the media on what happened before receiving any notice from the Capitol Police.
“This is a problem. And it needs to be resolved immediately,” he tweeted.
Kyle Cheney, Natasha Bertrand and Lara Seligman contributed to this report.