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UPDATED: U.S. Capitol Locked Down After Shooting

by Andrew Ramonas April 11, 2015 at 4:15 pm 0

U.S. Capitol April 11, 2015 (Photo via Twitter/AMwekali)

(Updated at 8:45 p.m.) The U.S. Capitol was locked down for about two hours today after a person shot and killed himself on the Capitol’s grounds, police said.

Shots were fired on the U.S. Capitol’s West Front just after 1 p.m. and, shortly thereafter, the shooter was said to be “neutralized,” according to U.S. Capitol Police. Authorities are investigating the incident as a suicide.

The lockdown was lifted about 3:45 p.m., but portions of Maryland Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue and 1st Street around the U.S. Capitol remained closed as police conducted a suspicious package investigation connected to the shooting.

In a statement issued Saturday evening, U.S. Capitol Police said the “suspicious package” was actually the man’s backpack and rolling suitcase.

At approximately 1:05 pm on Saturday, April 11, 2015, a male subject walking in a public area near First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, walked towards the Lower West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol Building. The man had a backpack and a rolling suitcase. The man did not engage in any contact with the U.S. Capitol Police as he walked to the Lower West Terrace, where the self-inflicted gunshot occurred. The man who turned the gun on himself was the only shooter involved. No other injuries were reported. The identity of the man is being withheld pending further investigation and notification of next of kin.

As a security precaution, the U.S. Capitol Police placed the U.S. Capitol Building on lock-down and put several temporary street closures in the immediate area in place. The lock-down of the U.S. Capitol Building has been lifted.

The U.S. Capitol Police Hazardous Devices Section (bomb squad) led the investigation of the backpack and rolling suitcase that were with the man, with support from the Metropolitan Police Department EOD. The U.S. Capitol Police cleared these items with nothing hazardous found.

As this investigation continues, some temporary closures remain in place until further notice: the Lower West Terrace; First Street between Independence Avenue, SW and Constitution Avenue, NW; Maryland Avenue between First Street, SW and Third Street, SW; Pennsylvania Avenue between First Street, NW and Third Street, NW.

On Twitter, witnesses described the shooter as a young man who was protesting outside the Capitol.

Photo via @AMwekali

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