Man shot and wounded by police at US Capitol complex

Updated: 2016-03-29 08:36


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Man shot and wounded by police at US Capitol complex

A US Capitol police officer guards the perimeter on Independence Avenue in front of the US Capitol Building as visitors are evacuated after a shooting at the US Capitol Visitors Center in Washington March 28, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]  

WASHINGTON - A man walked into the underground US Capitol Visitor Center on Monday and was shot and wounded by police after he pointed what appeared to be a weapon at officers, police said.

The suspect and a female bystander, who suffered wounds, were taken to the hospital, Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said at a news conference.

No police officers were injured, Verderosa said. He said it was unclear how many officers fired shots. A weapon was recovered on the scene and the suspect's vehicle was found on Capitol grounds, he said.

"During routine administrative screening, the individual drew what appeared to be a weapon and pointed it at officers," the police chief said.

Verderosa said the man was known to Capitol Police.

"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," Verderosa said.

Law enforcement officials have not conclusively verified the suspect's identity but believe he is Larry Dawson, 66, from Tennessee, the Washington Post reported.

Police arrested Dawson in October after they said he interrupted a House of Representatives session, shouting he was a "Prophet of God," the Post reported. A judge ordered him to stay away from the Capitol grounds, the newspaper said.

Police did not identify the suspect, who they said acted alone.

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