Police: US Capitol shooter “neutralized”

World Today

Photo by Douglas Jones

Police said the U.S. Capitol was locked down as a precaution after shots were fired in what appears to be an attempted suicide. Click here for the latest update. 

Capitol Police Spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said the suspected shooter was “neutralized” after a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It’s unclear whether the man is dead. No one else is believed to be hurt.

Photo by Douglas Jones

Photo by Douglas Jones

Schneider also said Capitol Police were investigating a suspicious package on the lower west terrace of the building.

No one is being allowed to enter or exit the Capitol and the visitors’ center, and some streets around the complex are closed.

Photo by Douglas Jones

Photo by Douglas Jones

The lockdown comes during Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which attracts scores of tourists.

Photo by Douglas Jones

Photo by Douglas Jones

Congress has been on spring break for two weeks and lawmakers are set to return to work Monday.

This story was compiled with information from the Associated Press.

US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself



U.S. Capitol Police use a bomb sniffing dog at a parking lot as they respond to reports of a shooting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, April 11, 2015. (AFP PHOTO: SAUL LOEB)

A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following an apparent suicide. The man died after shooting himself on the west front of the Capitol building, which triggered a roughly two-hour lockdown, Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said.

No one was allowed to leave or enter the Capitol or the visitors’ center during the lockdown on a busy day for tourists, and some streets around the area were closed. No one else was hurt.

Robert Bishop of Annapolis, Maryland, said he was biking near the steps of the Capitol when the suicide occurred. He said there were 50 to 60 people in the area at the time, and there was no warning that the man was about to shoot himself.

Bishop didn’t witness the suicide but said other people in the area did, including a girl and her mother who immediately began crying afterward. After being allowed to leave the Capitol, Bishop said he saw authorities taking clothes out of a carry-on suitcase that the man had.

“That’s why they shut everything down,” Bishop said.

Police had said they were investigating a suspicious package during the lockdown.

Elizabeth Hays and Michael Stanis of Pittsburg said they were taking a tour inside the Capitol and were just getting ready to leave when their group was told the Capitol was in lockdown and they weren’t allowed out.

Hays said they were told by a worker in the Capitol that someone had committed suicide and that the person had bags around them when it occurred.

During the lockdown, about a dozen police cars, black SUVs and an ambulance congregated at the bottom of the west steps of the Capitol, which overlooks the bustling National Mall.

Police appeared to take measurements as bomb squad members searched the area. Nearer the mall, visitors gathered around trying to figure out what was going on.

This story was compiled with information from the Associated Press.