WASHINGTON - A woman was taken into custody Wednesday after police say a driver struck a U.S. Capitol Police cruiser near the U.S. Capitol.
According to U.S. Capitol Police spokesperson Eva Malecki, the suspect’s vehicle was headed up Independence Avenue around 9:20 am when it was spotted driving erratically. As U.S. Capitol Police were trying to stop the suspect on Independence Avenue, the female driver made a U-turn, nearly striking officers and hitting at least one vehicle. During attempt to arrest the suspect, shots were fired, but no one was injured. Capitol police would not say how many shots were fired or where they landed.
U.S. Capitol police said the incident has no connection to terrorism, saying, "Although preliminary, this incident appears to be criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism."
Outside the immediate perimeter of the scene, FOX 5's Tom Fitzgerald reported things seem very calm and tourists were still making their way around the Capitol grounds. Dozens of officers are at the scene. Ambulances responded to the scene but did not transport anyone at this time.
FOX 5’s Erin Como reports Independence Avenue is closed between Washington Ave and 1st Street SE as a result of the investigation. There’s no word on how long it will be closed, but drivers are advised to avoid the area if at all possible. There appeared to be four evidence markers on the ground next to the suspect’s vehicle, which remains on Independence Avenue.
Two Capitol Police sources tell FOX 5's Alexandra Limon that the suspect may have been trying to run over officers on the ground, and that may have been what led to the shooting. Neither of the two sources were at the scene, but both told Limon this is the information they are being given.
Metrobus customers may experience delays in the area as a result of the investigation.
Almost exactly one year ago, a man was shot by U.S. Capitol Police after he produced a weapon at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
The suspect in that incident, 66-year-old Larry Dawson of Tennessee, was entering a screening area at the Visitor Center on March 28 when he pointed a weapon at officers. He was shot by police and then taken into custody. The U.S. Capitol was placed on lockdown and a shelter-in-place was issued during last year's incident.
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