A US Capitol police officer keeps watch in front of the Capitol in Washington [File].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – A shooting in the official visitor’s center of the US Capitol on Monday wounded one police officer, and forced law enforcement to lock down Capitol Hill and the White House.
As of this writing, Capitol police were not able to determine the motive of the shooter, who was swiftly caught.
The police officer’s injury was not serious, according to the Capitol’s sergeant at arms.
A US Capitol Police officer, who asked not to be identified, said that the suspected shooter was being transported to the hospital. The officer did not identify or describe the suspect and he added that there are no additional suspects.
The White House’s daily briefing with reporters was under way as both structures were locked down, and as employees and visitors were instructed to shelter in place.
Cathryn Leff a licensed therapist, tweeted that she was at the visitor’s center when she heard gunshots while going through a security check point.
“That moment when it goes down. Everyone is screaming & running and you can’t see where the #ShotsFired are from,” tweeted Leff(@Cathrynlefflmft).
Congress is in recess, with few lawmakers in Washington.
The Secret Service temporarily cleared tourists from an area surrounding the White House after the incident, but activities quickly returned to normal.
The shooting reflects on the difficulty of securing soft targets from violent attacks, criminal or terrorist-related.
As occurred before security screening at Brussels airport last week, the perpetrator was able to carry weapons into the entry hall of the building.