1 U.S. Capitol Police Officer Killed, Another Injured After Car Rammed Into Barricade; Driver Shot and Killed

Joe Price
·4 min read

Image via Getty/Al Drago

The U.S. Capitol went into lockdown Friday following an incident in the area that left one suspect and one police officer dead.

The Associated Press reports that two officers were injured after a vehicle rammed into a barricade. NBC News’ Jake Sherman later confirmed that one of the officers died.

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At a press conference, Capitol police acting chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters the officer had “succumbed to his injuries” after he was taken to a nearby hospital. The D.C. police have since indicated that there’s no indication of an ongoing threat.

The driver of the vehicle was shot, according to the AP. The suspect was taken into custody, but died shortly after. Capitol police put all Capitol buildings under lockdown “due to an external security threat,” with staff members being told they couldn’t enter or leave the buildings until further notice.

Capitol police later confirmed road closures are in effect due to the incident, although it’s not clear how long the closures will last for.

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Capitol police weren’t the only authorities at the scene, as the FBI and the National Guard were deployed to help contain the situation.

“The DC National Guard deployed a Immediate Response Force (IRF) composed of National Guard soldiers and airmen to the Capitol complex this afternoon to support the U.S. Capitol Police. Due to operational security, we cannot discuss further details regarding the IRF,” said the National Guard in a tweet. “No National Guard members were injured in the incident at the Capitol. Currently, approximately 2,300 National Guard members are in DC supporting local, state, and federal authorities in DC.”

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The crash and subsequent shooting happened at a checkpoint near the Capitol, although it’s worth noting that Congress is in recess so the majority of lawmakers weren’t in the area when the incident happened. Photos and videos of the aftermath have circulated on social media, showing at least two people on stretchers and a blue sedan crashed into the barricade. The checkpoint in question is usually reserved for senators and staff on weekdays.

NBC News correspondent Leigh Ann Caldwell also tweeted a video of the situation from within the Capitol complex, showing a huge police presence and a helicopter that landed in the East front. Police have yet to further detail the incident, although reports suggest the suspect exited their vehicle with a knife before they were shot. CNN reports that at least one of the officers was stabbed. A motive has yet to be determined, but a briefing is planned for later today.

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The incident comes just under three months after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. After the events of that day, which left five dead, authorities put up barbed wire fencing around the Capitol complex. Some of that has since been taken down, however, and investigations into how the situation was handled are still ongoing. As of right now, there’s no apparent connection between the crash and the insurrection.

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