Auto rams U.S. Capitol barricade, injuring 2 officers; driver shot

Auto rams U.S. Capitol barricade, injuring 2 officers; driver shot

Police block a street after a vehicle drove into police officers near the US Capitol building in Washington, US, April 2, 2021.

A driver has been shot dead and a police officer has died after a vehicle rammed into a barricade outside the US Capitol building.

"Whether the attack was at law enforcement, or whoever, we have a responsibility to get to the bottom of it and we'll do that", Robert Contee, the acting chief of Washington DC's Metropolitan Police Department, said at a news conference on Friday.

Security officials, including the Capitol Police and National Guard, were faulted for reacting slowly to the crowds who stormed the Capitol on January 6. It's unclear which member of law enforcement shot the suspect.

The Capitol is on lockdown due to this situation. Authorities said that there was no longer an ongoing threat and that the attack did not appear to be related to terrorism. Both officers were hospitalized, and one of them "succumbed to his injuries", Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told reporters.

Friday's crash and shooting happened at a checkpoint near the U.S. Capitol as Congress is on recess.

They added that no prior information about him had been found on any police databases, and that he did not appear to have any ties to the military.

Troops stand guard near the scene of a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington Friday
Troops stand guard near the scene of a car that crashed into a barrier on Capitol Hill in Washington Friday

Fencing that prevented vehicular traffic near that area was recently removed as the Capitol has started to open up after the January 6 riots.

The officials initially said the suspect was being taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Law enforcement officials confirmed that after hitting the two officers, the driver jumped out of the vehicle with a knife and was shot by Capitol police.

Witnesses reported a auto crashed into a barrier outside of the Capitol shortly after 1 p.m. local time.

The vehicle rammed the barricade into the two officers at a checkpoint on the north side of Capitol Hill Friday afternoon. "There are small contingent of the National Guard troops around the Capitol".

Text messages sent to staffers inside told them to avoid windows and said no one could enter or leave the building. If outside, seek cover.

US President Joe Biden is also not in DC at the moment.

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