Wednesday 24 May 2017

Shooting sparks security lockdown at US Capitol Building

US Capitol Police respond to reports of a shooting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
US Capitol Police respond to reports of a shooting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, April 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Police guard the U.S. Capitol grounds after a shooting took place, in Washington April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Police guard the U.S. Capitol grounds after a shooting took place, in Washington April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Police guard the U.S. Capitol grounds after a shooting took place, in Washington April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Members of law enforcement and emergency services gather and a parameter created around the west front of the U.S. Capitol as the U.S. Capitol is on lockdown, Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The north front of the U.S. Capitol is closed and a parameter created with police tape, Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sandra Maler and Susan Heavey

A person shot him or herself dead near the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, sparking a security lockdown at the complex, U.S. Capitol police said.

Police were also investigating a suspicious package on the lower west terrace of the Capitol building in Washington, and several nearby streets were closed. Several media reports said it was luggage left by the person.

Police said the lockdown was a precautionary measure. It was lifted just after 9pm Irish time.

"There are no indications at this point of terrorism," a U.S. official told NBC News.

Members of law enforcement and emergency services gather and a parameter created around the west front of the U.S. Capitol as the U.S. Capitol is on lockdown, Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Members of law enforcement and emergency services gather and a parameter created around the west front of the U.S. Capitol as the U.S. Capitol is on lockdown, Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

"The Capitol has been locked down because of the potential security threat. No one can enter or exit," Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said in a statement.

"Confirmed: self-inflicted gunshot by neutralized subject," she added shortly afterward.

Police guard the U.S. Capitol grounds after a shooting took place, in Washington April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Police guard the U.S. Capitol grounds after a shooting took place, in Washington April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

She did not say if the person was a man or a woman.

The incident occurred on a Saturday and Congress is out of session this week, so few lawmakers were in town. But the city was crowded with tourists visiting for the popular annual Cherry Blossom festival. The suspected shooter has been 'neutralised', spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider of the Capitol Police said in a statement.

She also reported Capitol Police to be investigating a suspicious package found on the lower west terrace of the building.

The building is in lockdown as a precaution. Nobody is allowed enter or exit the building.

"The Capitol has been locked down because of the potential security threat. No one can enter or exit," Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said in a statement.

The incident occurred on a Saturday and Congress is out of session this week, so few lawmakers were in town.

Reuters

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