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Posted at 2:33 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2013
Updated: 3:29 p.m. | The Capitol was on lockdown in the wake of a shooting on the Senate side for about 40 minutes Thursday. Around 3 p.m., Capitol Police lifted the lockdown and allowed members, staff, journalists and visitors to exit from where they were previously ordered to shelter in place. According to Capitol Police, they are processing two crime scenes, one at First Street and Constitution Avenue NW, and one at Second Street and Maryland Avenue NE.
The incident reportedly started at the White House when the suspect, who may have been a woman and had a child with her, tried to ram White House security barriers at 15th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. A car chase reportedly ensued, ending near the Hart Senate Office Building with shots fired.
A White House official released the following statement: “The President was briefed on the reports of gunfire on Capitol Hill this afternoon. White House staff are in touch with law enforcement and monitoring the incident. Questions about the security posture at the White House complex should be directed to the United States Secret Service.”
About 2:20 p.m. the Senate was ordered to shelter-in-place after the gunshots were fired at First Street and Constitution Avenue NW. A Capitol Police officer was injured in a crash at the First and Constitution scene, and has been transported to a hospital.
An initial alert from the Capitol Police to the campus stated the following:
“SHELTER IN PLACE. Gunshots have been reported on Capitol Hill requiring staff in all Senate Office Buildings to immediately shelter in place. Close, lock and stay away from external doors and windows. Take annunciators, emergency supply kits and escape hoods; and move to your office’s assigned shelter in place location or the innermost part of the office away from external doors or windows. If you are not near your office, go to the office nearest to you and shelter with that office and then check in with your OEC. No one will be permitted to enter or exit the building until directed by USCP. Staff is advised to monitor the situation. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.”
At about 2:50 p.m., senators began leaving the chamber and the floor emptied out. A plainclothes police officer told people in the Senate public gallery that they would need to stay there for a while. “It’s cool. … We drill for it frequently,” the officer said.
On the House side, members said they heard seven to eight shots around 2:20 p.m., when they were out on the Speaker’s Lobby balcony.