A man with a gun walked into the underground US Capitol Visitor Center on Monday and was shot and wounded by police after he pointed the 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.
There has been an isolated incident at the US Capitol. There is no active threat to the public
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) March 28, 2016
“Based on initial investigation, we believe this is an act of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before,” Verderosa said.
“There is no reason to believe this is anything more than a criminal act.”
CBS News reported two tourists at the Visitor Center had minor injuries from bullet ricochet.
Police did not identify or describe the suspect and added that there were no additional suspects, but they did confirm no evidence had materialised of a connection to terrorism.
A US government official told Reuters that initial reports were that a suspect walked into the Visitor Center, pointed a gun at a police officer on duty and a shootout erupted.
Mr Verderosa said the suspect was known to police through previous contact.
Congress is in recess, with few lawmakers in Washington but the shooting happened just a few hours after a drill for an active shooter took place at the Capitol, creating further confusion.
Cathryn Leff a licensed therapist, tweeted that she was at the visitor’s center when she heard gunshots while going through a security check point.
“That moment when it goes down . Everyone is screaming & running and you can’t see where the #ShotsFired are from,” tweeted Leff(@Cathrynlefflmft).
The Secret Service temporarily cleared tourists from an area surrounding the White House after the incident, but activities quickly went back to normal.
The Secret Service temporarily cleared tourists from an area around the White House, but activities quickly returned to normal.
The Secret Service temporarily closed the north and south fence lines as a “routine precautionary measure”, a spokesman said, as police reported gunshots were fired at the US Capitol Visitors Center.
The fence lines, which are normally thronged with tourists, were reopened shortly afterward.
A report that a person tried to gain entry to the White House was incorrect, a US Secret Service spokesman said.