A shooting at the official visitor’s center of the U.S. Capitol injured one police officer and forced law enforcement to lock down Capitol Hill and the White House on Monday, according to the Reuters’ report.
BREAKING: Gunman in Capitol complex captured; one police officer shot: source
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 28, 2016
An unknown man went into the underground U.S. Capitol Visitor Center and pointed what later turned out to be a weapon at officers. Guards fired a shot at the man and wounded him. The suspect, who was identified as Larry Dawson, 66, Tennessee, is now in stable but critical condition at a hospital.
According to Capitol Police, Dawson has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed. The weapon was allegedly a pellet gun.
Shelter in place remains in effect as Capitol Police continue to investigate. Please stay in your assigned location. #alert
— SenateSergeantAtArms (@SenateSAA) March 28, 2016
“During routine administrative screening, the individual drew what appeared to be a weapon and pointed it at officers. Based on initial investigation, we believe this is an act of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before. There is no reason to believe this is anything more than a criminal act,” Matthew Verderosa, Capitol Police Chief, said.
During the incident no police officers were injured. It remains unclear how many officers fired shots. However, a woman standing nearby was accidentally wounded, as the police chief informed. She was taken to a hospital but her current condition has not been disclosed.
At the same time as Dawson was trying to attack the Capitol, police arrested a woman at the White House Easter egg roll. She attempted to move a temporary security barrier. A Secret Service official underlines that there is no relation between the Capitol incident and the White House arrest.
Remarkably, Dawson has already had criminal record when last October he disrupted House proceedings and shouted he was a “Prophet of God. As a result he was charged with disorderly and disruptive conduct on the grounds of the Capitol and assaulting, resisting or interfering with a police officer. The Court ordered him to stay away from the building and grounds.
A schedule hearing must have taken place in November. However, Dawson didn’t appear in the Court. In a letter filed with his case, he stated that he will “not comply with the court order, nor will I surrender myself unto your office.”
The addition to the letter contained four exclamation points and read: “No longer will I let myself be governed by flesh and blood, but only by the Divine Love of God.”
Dawson also insisted that he served in the Army and was honorably discharged in 1971.
Labor records witness against Dawson as well. He used to be licensed in Tennessee to work as a funeral director. His license expired in 2004 and the state’s Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers got three requests from Dawson to reinstate his license and all three times it voted to turn him down, citing the “applicant’s lack of good moral character.”