Capitol Hill lockdown: Damaged car remains at barrier
Dozens of police cars, marked and unmarked, raced toward the Capitol building and all roads leading to the complex were blocked.
A helicopter was seen landing on the east front of the Capitol and members of the public were ordered to leave the area.
Videos from the scene showed what looked like two people on stretchers being loaded into ambulances.
Pictures showed a blue car crashed into a barricade and emergency workers treating someone on the driveway of the Capitol.
US Capitol on lockdown after reports of people shot – ‘External security threat’
Police officers stand guard near where the shooting took place
Capitol Police tweeted: “CRITICAL INCIDENT: USCP is responding to the North Barricade vehicle access point along Independence Avenue for reports someone rammed a vehicle into two USCP officers.
“A suspect is in custody. Both officers are injured. All three have been transported to the hospital.”
They later added a correction that the incident had happened on Constitution Avenue, not Independence Avenue.
The force added: “Due to the external security threat at the North Barricade of the U.S. Capitol, the following road closures are in effect: Constitution Avenue between Second Street NE and First Street NW, First Street between Constitution Avenue NE and Independence Avenue SE.”
Capitol Hill was put on lockdown after two police officers were injured
The National Guard has been scrambled to protect the area, with a video showing dozens of members of the military reserve standing behind a barricade.
The National Guard confirmed that it had deployed an “Immediate Response Force (IRF) composed of National Guard soldiers and airmen to the Capitol complex this afternoon to support the US Capitol Police”.
They said no National Guard members were injured in the incident.
The bureau said some 2,300 members are in the US capital supporting local, state and federal authorities.
At a press conference, a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police said the suspect was “lunging toward” police officers after he crashed his car into a barricade.
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A car rammed into a barricade near the US Capitol
A helicopter lands near the US Capitol
She confirmed the suspect had died and said one male police officer had succumbed to his injuries.
And a police spokesman said the suspect does not appear to have been known to law enforcement.
At around 1pm in Washington (6pm in the UK) the Capitol was put into lockdown.
Officers told staff to remain indoors and keep away from doors and windows.
Those who were outside of the building were instructed to “seek cover”.
Police sealed off all streets leading to the US Capitol after the shooting
Authorities have begun only in the past couple of weeks to remove the outer ring of high, razor-wire-topped fencing erected around the sprawling Capitol complex after an attack on January 6 by thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
It represents the most serious security incident at the site since the attack three months ago which left dozens injured and five dead.
Senate Minority Leader McConnell offered his prayers for the injured officers.
The Republican said: “Praying for the United States Capitol Police officers who were attacked at the Capitol. We are still learning what’s taken place.
“Grateful to all the USCP and first responders who are on the scene.”
Rick Scott, a Republican senator from Florida, wrote on Twitter: “The violence at the Capitol today against our brave @CapitolPolice is senseless and disgusting.
“Ann and I are praying for the injured officers and our thoughts are with their families and loved ones.”
Due to Congress being in recess, most lawmakers were not on Capitol Hill when the episode unfolded.
However, many staff aides were in and around the complex working or receiving Covid vaccines.
President Joe Biden had earlier left Washington for Camp David in Maryland, the traditional retreat for presidents.