Suspect shot after he rams car into U.S. Capitol barricade, injuring police officers

Published 1:17 pm Friday, April 2, 2021

A car rammed into two Capitol Police officers at a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday afternoon, and the driver got out of the vehicle while appearing to brandish a knife before being shot by authorities, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

Both Capitol Police officers and the driver were taken to the hospital, with at least one officer in serious condition, the officials said. The driver was in critical condition, they said.

The crash and shooting happened at a security checkpoint near the Capitol as Congress is on recess. It comes as the Washington region remains on edge nearly three months after a mob of armed insurrectionists stormed the Capitol as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential win.

Capitol Police said that someone rammed a vehicle into two of its officers. The law enforcement officials told the AP that the driver then got out of the car with what appeared to be a knife. It’s unclear which member of law enforcement shot the suspect.

The officials said the suspect was being taken to the hospital in critical condition. One of the officers who was injured was taken by police car to the hospital; the other was being transported by emergency medical crews, the officials said.

The officials could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. Capitol complex was placed on lockdown after the shooting and staff were told they could not enter or exit buildings. Video showed National Guard troops mobilizing near the area of the crash.

The incident occurred about 100 yards (91 meters) from the entrance of the building on the Senate side of the Capitol. Fencing that prevented vehicular traffic near that area was recently removed as the Capitol has started to open up after the Jan. 6 riots.

The security checkpoint is typically used by senators and staff on weekdays. Congress is currently on recess.

Video posted online showed a dark colored sedan crashed against a vehicle barrier and a police K9 inspecting the vehicle. Law enforcement and paramedics could be seen caring for at least one unidentified individual.

President Joe Biden had just departed the White House for Camp David when the incident occurred. As customary, he was traveling with a member of the National Security Council Staff who was expected to brief him on the incident.