WASHINGTON - The U.S. Capitol and its office buildings were briefly locked down Tuesday afternoon after D.C. police said suspects fired at their officers during a pursuit that ended nearby.
Capitol police said the lockdown was issued at around 4:10 p.m. after D.C. police were alerted about a man with a gun near Fort McNair in Southwest D.C., which is about a mile and a half south of the U.S. Capitol.
According to D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, when officers arrived to the area, they ended up pursuing three suspects in a car on South Capitol Street.
“The car sped past them, they saw a person that matched that lookout in that car and they turned around and got behind that car,” said Lanier.
Just prior to entering the 3rd Street Tunnel, a passenger extended his arm out the window of the car and fired a small MAC-11 machine gun at officers. Lanier said the officers did not fire back because the tunnel was filled with other drivers.
The car then hit the tunnel wall and the suspects threw the gun and ammunition out the vehicle's window.
Two of the suspects were arrested at the scene while the third suspect fled the area, causing the lockdown at the Capitol, police said. The third suspect would later be located and apprehended.
"This is the second time today police have been shot at,” Lanier said, referring to another shooting that happened earlier Tuesday morning in which an armed robbery suspect was charged after a gun battle and standoff with police in Southeast D.C.
No officers or civilians were injured during the incident, Capitol police said.
During the lockdown, an email was sent to congressional staff advising them to close and lock doors while staying away from external doors and windows. The all-clear was later given over a loudspeaker at 4:45 p.m.
Both the House and Senate were in session, with House members voting. In the Senate, lawmakers were delivering speeches from the floor.
Tourists sat in the visitors' gallery in the Senate, apparently unaware of what was transpiring.
Last Friday, the U.S. Capitol was briefly locked down after reports that a woman with a gun was attempting to enter the building. It turned out to be a false alarm.
Information from the Associated Press used in this report.