BREAKING NATIONAL NEWS – The United States Capitol was locked down today because of an “exterior security threat,” as the United States Capitol Police (USCP) said one officer died and another was injured after a car rammed into them. Authorities say the suspect exited his car wielding a knife and was shot by the USCP, dying of his injuries.
Security officials believe the suspect was a “lone wolf,” not connected to any other group.
Metropolitan Police Department Acting Chief Robert Contee said in a briefing the attack did not appear to be terrorism-related. Law enforcement officials said the suspect had exited the car, knife in hand, and “lunged toward” Capitol Police.
Capitol Police outside of the building were seen tending to at least one person on the ground, with at least two stretchers rolled out and large amounts of law enforcement and first responder activity.
At least two people were pushed on separate stretchers into two separate ambulances, which have left the scene.
USCP said the suspect and two injured officers were taken to the hospital.
The D. C. National Guard also deployed an Immediate Response Force to the scene.
The FBI Washington Field Office tweeted that it is supporting the Capitol Police in responding to the incident.
“Praying for the United States Capitol Police officers who were attacked at the Capitol,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted. “We are still learning what’s taken place. Grateful to all the USCP and first responders who are on the scene.”
The entry point where the scene unfolded is directly where senators and aides enter the Capitol each day. The incident occurred at the North barricade vehicle access along Constitution Avenue. Capitol Police had originally reported Independence Avenue before issuing a correction.
Constitution Avenue was closed off until two weeks ago when they reduced the size of the outer perimeter. The National Guard is still stationed there.
There was a car visibly smashed into a barrier outside of the Capitol.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said she did not have an update about any change in security posture at the White House. She was not aware of the episode as she gave her daily briefing.
The incident comes as the Capitol has been fortified for months following the January 6, 2021 attack on the building, after which law enforcement erected a fence for hundreds of yards beyond the buildings of the Capitol complex.
In recent weeks, the perimeter around the Capitol was reduced as the security posture around the complex was relaxed.