Spectators gather near Peace Circle on the West Front of the Capitol to view officials process the scene of an apparent suicide on the Capitol grounds. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., will lead the investigation of the death of a man who shot himself on the West Front of the Capitol on Saturday, according to Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine.
Standing behind yellow police tape and in front of about 30 reporters at a 5 p.m. press conference at Pennsylvania Ave. and First Street NW, Dine said a male subject with a backpack and rolling suitcase walked along a public area along the Lower West Terrace at approximately 1:05 p.m. and “engaged in a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
According to Dine and a follow-up advisory from the Capitol Police, the man who turned his weapon on himself was the only shooter, and no other injuries were reported. Law enforcement officers on the scene did not fire their weapons. The department’s bomb squad, with an assist from MPD, didn’t find any hazardous materials in the man’s belongings. Parts of the West Front will likely continue to be closed off until the investigation is completed, according to Capitol Police.
The subject’s identity is being withheld until his next of kin is informed. In addition to the MPD, Capitol Police will be working with the FBI, Secret Service and Park Police in the probe of the event. The subject had a sign with him, which Dine acknowledged was a “social justice” message. “I don’t have the actual language,” he said, but added he would relay as soon as it could be confirmed.
“That’s all we have now,” Dine said.
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