A lockdown at the Capitol

Police investigate report that someone heard the sound of shots being fired.


Tim Grieve
May 26, 2006 7:57PM (UTC)

Capitol police locked down the U.S. Capitol and the Rayburn House Office Building and closed off part of Independence Avenue today after getting a report that shots may have been fired in the Rayburn garage.

A police spokeswoman says that police received a report of shots being fired at 10:30 this morning. She said that she has no information about a suspect and that police have not found anyone injured by any shooting.

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The story initially appeared to be a false alarm; shortly after a lockdown alert hit BlackBerrys around the Hill, members of Congress, their aides and others in the vicinity were told that they could return to business as usual. But CNN is reporting that police have just locked down the Capitol again, and an officer told one CNN producer that there may be a gunman in the area. Fox News, meanwhile, is reporting that two women who had been inside a gym in the Rayburn building have told police that a man with a gun was hiding there. But as CNN says, the man the women may have seen could have been an undercover law enforcement agent.

The police spokeswoman said that police are erring on the side of caution -- but that it would be premature to assume that nothing actually happened.

Update: The Capitol has now been opened again, but the Rayburn building remains under lockdown. A police spokeswoman says officers are going from office to office in the Rayburn building to ensure that no one who isn't supposed to be there is there.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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