US Capitol Locked Down After Reports of Nearby Gunfire

REUTERS  Joshua Roberts  Files

The US Capitol Police said the investigation into today's attack on police officers near the US Capitol is ongoing.

The U.S. Capitol remained on lockdown Friday afternoon after a auto rammed a barricade outside the Senate, though the building was largely empty due to a two-week recess.

The crash and shooting happened at a checkpoint near the Capitol as Congress is on recess.

Neither the House nor Senate were in session on Friday.This attack comes less than three months after hundreds of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol to interrupt a joint session of Congress that was underway to finalize President Joe Biden's win.

"USCP is responding to the North Barricade vehicle access point along Independence Avenue for reports someone rammed a vehicle into two USCP officers", US Capitol Police said on Twitter, adding that it was "critical incident".

Dozens of police cars, marked and unmarked, raced toward the Capitol building. The suspect died at a hospital.

"This has been an extremely hard time for U.S. Capitol Police after the events of January 6 and now the events that have occurred here today".

Police block a street after a vehicle drove into police officers near the US Capitol building in Washington US
Police block a street after a vehicle drove into police officers near the US Capitol building in Washington US

"It is with a very, very heavy heart that I announce one of our officers has succumbed to his injuries", Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said at the conference.

NBC News reported that the driver of the vehicle "jumped out of the auto with a knife and was shot by Capitol Police". Video showed National Guard troops mobilizing near the area of the crash.

Tensions in Washington have remained high in the wake of the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Video posted online showed a blue sedan crashed against a vehicle barrier near the complex, and a police K9 inspecting the vehicle.

It appears at least one injured party was transported by helicopter.

President Joe Biden left Washington earlier in the day for Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland. As customary, he was traveling with a member of the National Security Council Staff who was expected to brief him on the incident.

CBS News reported that security officials had already warned congressional staffers of a threat before the car-ramming.