Armed man crashes through barricade at Capitol
An armed man crashed his vehicle into a security barricade at the U.S. Capitol today, ran into the building and was arrested, forcing the complex to briefly be locked down.
WASHINGTON – An armed man crashed his vehicle into a security barricade at the U.S. Capitol today, ran into the building and was arrested, forcing the complex to briefly be locked down, authorities said.
The man was armed with a gun, one security officer said. The officer said the man was captured by police after running through the Rotunda in the center of the Capitol and down a stairway into the basement. He said the man appeared to be having a seizure, and was taken to a hospital.
Police shut down the complex as they investigated the incident, and to ensure that all people there were authorized to be there. The incident happened shortly before 8 a.m. EDT, witnesses said. The Capitol complex was reopened within the hour.
Eric Ueland, chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, said that after the capture, police conducted a search through the Capitol to ensure there had been no other penetration.
Construction workers and police said the man drove his SUV through a barricade at the Capitol, where a visitors' center is under construction. His vehicle also crashed into a water fountain on the plaza in the middle of the construction area.
Witnesses said the man, wearing a blue ballcap, ran into the Capitol near the Rotunda and was pursued by police.
Police cordoned off the vehicle, a light-colored SUV, which sustained a damaged front fender, and were searching it.
In the summer of 1998, two Capitol Police officers were shot to death when a man with a history of mental illness opened fire in the building. The man was wounded and captured.
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