WASHINGTON - Capitol police said a man was shot by police after he withdrew a weapon at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Monday afternoon.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa said the suspect, identified as 66-year-old Larry Dawson of Tennessee, was entering the north screening area of the Visitor Center at around 2:39 p.m. when he pointed the weapon at officers. He was subsequently shot by police, taken into custody, treated by medical personnel and then transported to the hospital.
Dawson is in critical condition after undergoing surgery. According to sources, he was shot in the leg.
A female bystander, 35 to 45 years of age, suffered minor injuries in the incident and was also transported to the hospital.
No officers were injured contrary to initial reports after the shooting took place. According to Fox News, one of the officers who fired at the suspect appeared to have been "winged" by a cartridge from his own firearm and suffered a minor cut. But at the time, they could not tell if he had been hit by gunfire.
Dawson has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed.
Police said they recovered a weapon at the scene.
The U.S. Capitol was placed on lockdown and a shelter-in-place was ordered by Capitol police before it was lifted an hour later. The Visitor Center remained closed on Monday for the police investigation, but it is expected to reopen and operate as normal on Tuesday.
Chief Verderosa said the suspect was known to officers and his vehicle was located on Capitol grounds. The truck is believed to have been parked in an area between the Capitol Reflecting Pool and the U.S. Botanic Garden and was towed away from the scene Monday night. Police said the vehicle will be searched pending a search warrant.
“Based on the initial investigation, we believe that this is an act of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before and there is no reason to believe that this anything more than a criminal act,” said Chief Verderosa.
According to court documents, Dawson was issued a stay-away order by D.C. Superior Court in October, ordering him to keep away from the Capitol grounds. It was issued after he was arrested following an outburst in the House chamber, officials told Fox News.
The event unfolded with Congress on recess and lawmakers back in their districts.
Information from the Associated Press and Fox News used in this report.