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tv   News4 at 4  NBC  March 28, 2016 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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security situation. you need to stay away from the doors, outside windows, get to the interior part of your office. unfortunately, as we have seen all too often, you just do not know how these situations are going to develop. >> there was confusion earlier about whether there was, in fact, a security threat or whether there was a security drill under way. we know there was, in fact, >> reporter: it's moving down constitution avenue, and people are allowed now to walk along the capitol
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was, oh, maybe just 30 minutes ago when everything was on lockdown here, when the people in the offices were in a position of shelter in place, and the cops were out here with long guns and you know these embedded barricades they have in the street, they were all up to keep traffic from flowing immediately into the capitol grounds. those barricades have been lowered now. the cops with the long guns have receded, and again people are walking about. now, this happened, as you mentioned, around 2:45 when a man goes into the capitol visitors center, he goes through a metal detector. it goes off. apparently he pulls out a gun, points the gun, and then capitol police officer opens fire and shoots him. he was taken to the hospital. his exact condition right now is unknown, but that is what sparked the lockdown here, the shelter in place here on both the senate side, inside the p
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house side. now i am told that normal business is being conducted on the senate side and on the house side, that the capitol is conducting only official business and that the visitors center is closed possibly for the rest of the day, but you can see now people are moving, and we're starting to gather some information about what happened. we hope maybe soon to know the identification of the man who tried to get into the capitol visitors center with that weapon shtionz t weapon, the man who was wounded. but, again, there's a cautious sense of normally here on capitol hill. >> pat, i was looking at some of the things going on behind you as you were showing us that very nice shot of what's going on in the area, and i saw people riding a bike, women pushing strollers. even in this age where so many of us have cell phones, we're getting constant
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from nbc washington on our apps and other things and we're finding out what's going on, you wonder if people are coming into this area at this point if a lot of people even know what's happened because we already operate at such a high security posture. just seeing some capitol police officers or an ambulance around is probably not going to set off a lot of alarm bells for a lot of people visiting our area. >> reporter: well, indeed, chris. this is the nation's capital, so from time to time we do run into barricades. we do run into situations where traffic is stopped for one reason or another or a motorcade or a suspicious package where people are diverted one direction to the other. so people who live in our city are sort of accustomed to being pushed about and pushed aside a little bit until these suspicious instances are investigated. and it's quite possible, this being easter monday, a lot of people were out and about
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didn't even know what was going on here. but, again, things seem rather normal here for easter monday on capitol hill. >> all right. if you can consider this normal. thank you so much, pat. let's go back to scott macfarlane. scott? scott macfarlane, are you there? >> reporter: the wind gusts had knocked me out. can you hear me now? i'm sorry, we had some wind gusts now. news4 learned the u.s. capitol police going to make a press conference at 4:15, about 10 minutes, outside their headquarters at first and constitution on the north side of the u.s. senate building. u.s. capitol police will have a formal press conference and answer some questions about what happened and it happens in about ten minutes. we have a crew en route as we speak. we'll have what the capitol police have to say as it happens in a few minutes. >> all right. thanks, scott. and, you know, we were just talking about these -- you
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phone, and so many of us even if we're out and about in the city, we're going to our phones, and we're learning what's going on not only the nbc washington app but other apps as well. but if you have the nbc washington app, you just learned we were just talking about that second person who was hurt in trying to ascertain how they were hurt. we just pushed out an alert saying they were hurt by flying debris. so, again, the civilian, the visitor who was hurt in this incident not shot. they were hurt by flying debris. probably in the overall response to this man pulling a gun and then shots being fired there in the visitors center. >> and we expect to hear more from capitol police in about ten minutes when they are expected to make a formal announcement updating the press and the public about what has taken place there on capitol hill this afternoon in the visitors center where one man apparently was shot, a man who was
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as soon as it happens, we'll bring it to you live. let's go back to jackie bensen who is at med star at the trauma center. have you learned any more about what's happening there at this hour? >> reporter: well, pat, as chris pointed out, so many things were very preliminary information. harder information is starting to come in. we know that ambulance 23, which is the ambulance that transported the person that we now believe to be the suspect from the shooting, the man who walked in with the gun, that ambulance is here. it has a u.s. capitol police cruiser behind it which is traditional procedure in this city when someone is taken by ambulance to a hospital in connection with a crime. a police car accompanies the ambulance. that ambulance is here. we've also seen a couple u.s. capitol police officers, one with a k-9, another that appeared to have some type of evidence bag with him.
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now, again, right now it's business as usual here at the hospital center, which we understand is going through a major internet outage unconnected to this but that is, according to the associated pre press, the subject of an investigation by the fbi. so a lot going on here today. but what we can tell you is that the ambulance that made the transport from the scene of the capitol shooting is here as well as some folks who look like they are in some type of investigative capacity with the united states capitol police. back to you. >> and, jackie, you have such great sources with investigators. you've covered too many cases to count. you know, based on your experience, at this point what are investigators trying to do? are they sort of trying to not only identify who this man is but sort of retrace his steps? >> reporter: well, you know, it's interesting that you mention that because the first thing that you always look for
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somebody carrying in that evidence bag. it would be what was with this person at the time the shooting happened? did he have a backpack? did he have something in there that contained writings about why he might do that? was there a computer? might that computer have information about why someone would choose to do something like this? all of those things -- is there a vehicle associated with this man which is what we may be seeing on the hill right now. officers may be looking around in the blocks around the capitol trying to find out if this person drove to the capitol. is there something with their vehicle? is there something suspicious in that vehicle? all these types of things are the things that happen within the minutes and the hours after an event like this happens at a building like the capitol, which is obviously something that is now national news and something that is being very closely investigated. >> and, jackie, while d.c. police have tweeted out that this appears to have been an isolated
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no threat to the public, one always wonders whether there might be anyone else involved. >> reporter: well, you saw that there was a brief precautionary lockdown of the white house. we talked to some people who were down there for the easter egg roll, which was interrupted and then after a period of time everyone was allowed back in. we're told that was handled in a very orderly fashion, but that connection, how close the white house and capitol are, they have no choice. they have to make sure that there is not more than one person doing this in those first minutes after something happens. always far better to err on the side of caution. >> yeah, jackie, and i can imagine for anyone who tries to bring a gun, you know, into the u.s. capitol, they're going to spare no expense in terms of the agencies that will be brought to bear trying to determine who this man is, if he's from this area, and if not, where he came from, when
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his motivation may have been. >> reporter: chris, you bring up a good point. the investigative agencies in this city work very, very well together. d.c. police, capitol police, the fbi. i can tell you without question all of those people are working together hand in hand right now to answer some of those questions that you brought up. >> all right. jackie bensen reporting live from med star washington hospital center, the trauma one center, the level one trauma center there which she's reported the highest level of care is given to those who are suffering trauma injuries such as gun shots. and we expect to get more details about five minutes from now when capitol police are expected to make some formal statement about the events of this afternoon, the events that involved a shooting of an armed man inside the capitol visitors center by a capitol police officer. we'll bring that to you just as soon as it happens. >> and we're j
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information from nbc news pete williams who has been working his sources. from what they are telling pete, this suspect is known to capitol police and is a frequent visitor to the u.s. capitol in some way, shape, or form. so, again, sources telling nbc news pete williams the u.s. capitol police know who this man is and that he has been to the capitol before. obviously a lot more information to find out. again, as packet mention t ment may be something we hear more about in the next three minutes. let's go back to scott macfarlane who is on the grounds outside the capitol. scotty? i guess we don't have scott right now. a lot of moving parts here. a lot of our folks are on the ground there moving to different parts of the capitol, trying to talk to people, trying to find witnesses who were around when all of this started going down around a quarteo
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afternoon or trying to work their sources within law enforcement to find more information about what happened. >> earlier we did hear from a woman who was on the outside of the capitol visitors center while her husband was on the inside and she described a scene that was no less than chaotic, and she even mentioned the sound of multiple gunshots, that just a glimpse of what may have taken place in that visitors center at the time of the shooting this afternoon. again, one man injured, and that man believed to be in custody and being treated right now at med star washington hospital center. >> to give you some perspective, guys, if we can, let's try to get that sound cued up for people who are just joining us, seeing the banner at the bottom of the screen. capitol police news conference coming up in two, three minutes from now, but, again, let's go to give you an idea of what it was like for some of the folks who were down there when all of this was first getting started. take a listen.
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i thought i heard a shot. it was on the level above us. he was in the restaurant where the tour ended. it sounded like a full clip there a handgun. officers ran down the hallway. she shouted cover in place, heard them say multiple injuries, then they quickly sent us to the theater the opposite way. >> wow. wow. so that woman is telling you what she was hearing from her husband and her two sons. as a father myself, just an incredibly frightening thing to hear while you're on a tour at the nation's capitol. >> and what she heard herself, the officer yelling cover and hearing what she said sounded like an entire clip was emptied indicating that there were a bunch of shots fired. we do know that this one suspect was injured, and we also have learned that a civilian suffered
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we believe based on what we've heard and just reported in fact on our nbc washington app that that civilian apparently was injured by some kind of flying shrapnel. >> again, that was probably during the response after he got the gun through the metal detector and then the officer started to respond but that civilian, that visitor, we're not sure who it was, but again was hurt but not shot in this incident. again, you're taking another look at a live picture as we sort of reset and show you a big picture of what happened. we've been on this story now for about an hour and a half. things have moved very, very quickly. i think we have scott macfarlane back up now on the ground? can we go to scott? >> reporter: chris, in about 20 minutes a lot of people will get their first look at the new u.s. capitol police chief who spoke with news4 about a week ago saying he was aware of a rising concern of threats at the
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checkpoints, at the magnetometers. he took over a week ago today. he'll be speaking at the press conference in about 20 minutes. not far from u.s. capitol police headquarters. always worth reminding people that congress is out of session today, both the u.s. house and the u.s. senate, about ybut tha doesn't mean there's not staff and at least one local member of congress at the office, senator ben cardin of maryland. even when congress is out of session, the capitol grounds are swarming with people. a lot of tourists are con grow gating around us to get updates on what happened. the press conference at 4:30. the new chief, a 30-year assistant with the agency, making his first appearance before the cameras to describe what happened. for now back to you. >> hey, scott, you've done such extensive work in terms of the u.s. capitol police. and i know you have some experience on the hill as well. from what you've heard, have there been any
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discussions about rethinking the security perimeter at the capitol and how the visitors center is set up? >> reporter: they're thinking about adding security. u.s. capitol police proposed a major budget increase for next year that would include 70 more officers on top of the 1,700 that are here already. one of the reasons they cite is again the asymmetrical threat. the threat of attack on the grounds. but there have been changes in recent years. i was a hill staffer yerns ago and the checkpoints are different. there are fewer public doors. they've kind of funneled the crowds to fewer entrances keeping the force a little more reinforced, not spreading out the police too thin. the visitors center itself is a new kusecurity dynamic. ultimately it was a response, chris, to the 1998 shooting in which two u.s. capitol police officers were killed. so security is fluid here, and, in fact, just last month they added more magnetom
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garage of the rayburn building. prior to last month, you could drive in and get into the building without ever being screened by a magnetometer. they changed that a few weeks ago. again, sensing a hieightened security posture. so it's an evolving security perimeter seeming to grow farther and farther from the heart of the capitol. >> you have seen the changes then from your time on the hill to what's in place now. >> reporter: and the staff perhaps seeing it better than anybody. the thousands of people making a living working for the u.s. house or senate. every time they go out to the car, they have to walk back through a magnetometer and this time of year the lines can be ep epic. you can see when security changes around here, but in each increment, chris and pat, it seems to be heightened and the outgoing u.s. capitol police chief last week and the new police chief made it very clear they intend to keep
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>> i remember that just from my years working at the pentagon. it was the reason why so many people just once they got there in the morning, you just stayed there all day because to get out and get back in was no easy task. >> that's why we have a cafeteria, a post office, a bank, a gift shop. making it a self-contained campus to keep people from having to go out and in because it's no small task. >> thank you for sharing that. >> we're going to show you now some video that is just into our newsroom, video taken inside the visitors center. here it is. you can see the people scrambling to move, to get out perhaps. there appears to have been chaos. this is what happened in the wake of a suspect tryi
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through the magnetometer that scott macfarlane just referred to setting off the magnetometer and then the suspect reportedly drawing his weapon, threatening a capitol police officer who opened fire and injured him. again, this video just released to -- just being released now, just being seen here in our newsroom of some of the chaos that had to have been taking place. >> there's no way to quantify fear, and that's what it boils down to. when you hear alerts like this, when you see armed professional capitol police officers moving very quickly and airing warnings like this and especially if you hear shots fired, there is a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety that takes over, and in all fairness it can be very, very hard for folks to keep it together and keep a cool head as the officers try to do their job and get people to a safe place. >> live
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inside the visitors center when this took place indicated that she did hear what sounded like the emptying of an entire clip. hearing that many gunshots had to have set off a panic inside that visitors center. we should tell you though that the capitol complex, while it was locked down comptely earlier, talking capitol building, all of the senate office buildings, and the house office buildings, that lockdown, that shutdown, has been partially lifted. the shelter in place order was lifted around 3:45. however, the capitol then was only open for official business. the visitors center as far as we know is still closed at this hour, remains closed. live pictures on capitol hill where an investigation is currently under way of the shooting of a visitor. nbc's pete williams tells us this man,
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not yet been identified to us but apparently is known to capitol police is said to be a frequent visitor to the visitors center. apparently many of the law enforcement officials there on capitol hill knew this man and had encounters with him before. this man was injured. we understand his injuries are not life threatening. we also understand that he is being treated in a hospital at this point. we believe at med star washington hospital center where an ambulance that did make a transport from capitol hill wound up this afternoon. ambulance number 23, which is there on the scene. jackie bensen has reported she's also seen police apparently transporting what appeared to be an evidence bag there at the hospital. >> yeah. let's go back down to the grounds. scott macfarlane has been on the ground talking to folks who were in the area as well as working some of his
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what are you seeing now, scott? >> reporter: chris, a lot of the people who were in the building at the time who say they were witnesses to some of theaft aftermath are still congregating to share their stories. i think it's important to say that the capitol visitors center is an area staffers rarely enter or spend time. the capitol visitors center is almost exclusively for tourists. rare is the meeting, rare is the event in which congressional staffers or complex employees would spend time. this is a day truly where the capitol visitors center was overrun by visitors. the staff who are here, especially committee staff who will show up when congress is in recess, and for local members they're here in great number. but they're usually limited to the house and senate office buildings themselves. though they are connected underground to the capitol
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distance, especially the rayburn house office building and the hart senate building. it's a long walk. staffers that are here today are likely in the office, in their offices and not anywhere near where this occurred. one u.s. senator from our area, ben cardin of maryland, was in the office, was on the grounds, meeting with the supreme court nominee and it happened in the senate side. but the predominant number of congressman was at home. it truly was a tourist day on cal t capitol grounds. >> there was a lot of confusion internally here in the newsroom when we heard some of the reports about the security situation there for the simple fact there was a smehelter in place exercise scheduled for this week.
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members of congress were out of town. it was minimal staff. so the capitol police and the sergeant at arms had scheduled the annual shelter in place exercise for this week and next. so the staffers who were in the building initially had the impression that today's shooting was a drill, and there was a lot of confusion both inside some of the office buildings there by the staff, even in our own newsroom because we knew about this drill and were hearing about this drill and trying to decide was this a continuation of the drill or was this an actual incident. they did have a shelter in place drill this morning at the capitol but that was just for the capitol. that did not include the visitors center where the actual incident went down. just to clarify some of the confusion going on not only in the senate but here in the newsroom in the first 15, 20, 30 minutes as we were trying to figure out what was going on.
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>> you're watching live coverage of the events of the afternoon on capitol hill. this is a live picture of police and others standing around outside the capitol where there is still an investigation of a shooting there this afternoon that has taken place. about five minutes from now we are expecting to hear from the new u.s. capitol police chief, matthew verderosa who will address the incident, perhaps provide more details about what happened, who was involved, and the aftermath and how police are conducting their investigation there on capitol hill. that coming up at 4:30 this afternoon. we'll bring that to you live. >> and, again, i think the one thing that really jumped out to us was pete williams working his sources and discovering this man was someone known to capitol police. someone who had been to the
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the point of identification and may have some information about this man in terms of where he's from, does he make frequent trips to our area, is he temporarily living in our area, what state does he come from, and some preliminary information. if he's a name that is known to them, then there has been some investigation that's already been done i presume on his background. >> and they may know what his issue is and what his motive may have been for opening fire there today. the shooting reportedly took place after he tried to take a gun through the magnetometer and set it off. he then reportedly pulled the gun and pointed it at a police officer posing a threat, and the police officer shot him. -- we understand his injuries are minor and we're expecting to learn more about who
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and what has transpired there on capitol hill this afternoon coming up in a few minutes when we hear from the new u.s. capitol police chief. >> again, it was just about a year ago tourists in town for the cherry blossoms and visiting the capitol when a man shot himself there at the capitol, pulled a gun and killed himself in a suicide. that was on the west front of the capitol on a saturday afternoon. that also obviously shocked the people who were there to witness it and forced the capitol to go into a lockdown as well. but here we are just about a year later in a very different situation or potentially a very different situation in that this person pulled their gun after it was detected by the metal detector. >> and we have mentioned and will review again that the other shooting scott macfarlane mentioned, that shooting in 1998, that happened october
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of this year, and the suspect was miriam kerry who was driving a car. she was fatally shot by police after she led police on a wild police chase reaching security points at the capitol as well as the white house before arriving at the capitol. also the same year, in 1998, july 24th of this year, russell weston, jr., fatally shot two officers. jacob chestnut and special agent john gibson and a tourist, angela dickerson of virginia, was injured in that particular case. so we have a shooting at the capitol this afternoon. a suspect in custody, injured. d.c. police saying it was an isolated incident. there is no threat to the public but the investigation continues and we are awaiting a live press conference with more details coming up in just a few minutes from the new u.s. capitol police chief. >> 's
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scott macfarlane has been bringing us the latest information from the ground outside the capitol. scott, what are you hearing now? >> reporter: i mentioned last report senator ben cardin of maryland was on the grounds today, one of the few sitting members of congress actually was here today versus back home in district offices. he was meeting with the supreme court nominee at his senate side office. his staffers are telling me he had just left the grounds and was en route to baltimore when the incident happened. we're checking with local members of congress to see if they enhanced security at their offices. we're checking on that now. senator ben cardin who was here, not too far proximity to today's incident, was off the grounds en route to baltimore when today's incident happened. staffers are beginning to depart. we're checking with them. many of them did as instructed, they did the shelter of place. as a former congressional staffer, i can tell you drills and sety
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alerts do eventually become kind of like white noise. our reporting shows 1,250 bomb threat scares, suspicious packages, and suspicious substances on capitol grounds each year and often an alert goes out to the entire complex that it's happening. if something happens 1200 times a year and you get alerted, eventually it does become something like white noise. it's possible when you have a threat like this that it stands out because it's a shelter in place and capitol police and the sergeant at arms alerted offices of the nature of the threat. it's also possible you become a little numb to these alerts and you may be slow to respond. but all the congressional staffers with whom we're speaking said they sheltered in place, stayed in the office, or found the nearest office and spent much of the afternoon there. >> scott macfarlane. we can also tell you that d.c. congresswoman eleanor holmes norton was also in her office. her office is in the rayburn house office building. we reached out to
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on duty in the capitol at the time of the shutdown and she as were he have other employee inside the building, as all of them were told to shelter in place, she was there sheltering in her office at the time. we are standing by to hear from t capitol police any moment with an update on what happened, details about the shooting that took place inside the visitors center earlier this afternoon. >> yeah. this was for lack of a better word, chaotic, scary situation there. anytime you have -- you're hearing shots being fired right at the visitors center for the u.s. capitol, especially if" light of where we are right now, the united states, a lot of countries around the world, including europe, on heightened alert because of those terror attacks in europe and what happened in brussels. we can tell you that dozens of emergency vehicles
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immediately dispatched to the capitol. staff, visitors were put in a lockdown. road barricades went up, and police officers with automatic rifles, we could see them stationed on some of the street corners at the time as they tried to ascertain exactly what the threat was and if it was contained. it was about 40 minutes, maybe 45 minutes later that d.c. police tweeted out and let us know there's no immediate danger to the public. this was an isolated incident that had been contained, and then our own jackie bensen at med star washington hospital telling us after we had seen a man being put into a stretcher and loaded onto an ambulance outside the capitol, jackie telling us that that ambulance did arrive at med star washington hospital with a u.s. capitol police escort, and we believe that suspect is being treated inside right now. >> the suspect according to nbc's pete williams is
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known to u.s. capitol police. a suspect who is a frequent visitor to the capitol. so we are waiting to get more information about that. capitol police chief will address us, the media -- we're expecting a live announcement a few minutes from now. we're standing by to bring that to you live. meanwhile, there was also a partial shutdown, a precautionary, rather, shutdown at the white house today where there were thousands of people gathered for an annual event that is joy-filled and fun. the white house easter roll that took place earlier today. lots of people there. we understand that while this was taking place, there was a precautionary shutdown. lafayette park, areas around the white house and the ellipse, we understand that that shutdown has been lifted at the white house and at lafayette park.
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with my wife and kids. i think i left there about 2:15 and as i started hearing all this go down i texted her to say what's going on over there, are you guys okay? they stayed there, but, again, doesn't look like there was any threat whatsoever or problem over in the white house area, but, again, when you've got thousands of families, families from our area and tourists, tons of kids, you know, on the white house grounds, up and down 15th and 17th streets, lined up down constitution avenue, any sort of security threat is going to make people a little bit antsy. so that was good news when we heard lafayette park and all the areas around the white house were fine and they had all reopened. >> you have so many visitors in town now. you have the egg roll. you've got the cherry blossom festival. there is a lot of tourist activity taking place here. many visitors ae
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where the shooting took place earlier this afternoon inside the visitors center which is beneath the capitol complex. it -- the shutdown has been partially lifted. we are awaiting the latest on the investigation under way by capitol police there on the capitol complex grounds where the capitol and house office buildings and the senate office buildings were all shut down earlier today. we did mention that our own eleanor holmes norton was on -- in her office at the time and she works in the rayburn house office, and we were able to speak to her by phone where she was sheltered in her office while all of this was taking place outside of her building. >> and, again, i think one of the things we will be interested to hear is more information sort of following up with
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dig up. the fact that capitol police knew who this guy was. he was known to them and he had been there before. your name generally does not come onto the radar of the u.s. capitol police unless there has been some sort of issue or you have raised some concerns in their eyes. so it will be interesting to hear, you know, not only the name but where this man is from and how he came to be sort of on their radar, in what capacity he came to the house or the senate before, what was said or what was done to raise some red flags among the u.s. capitol police that they would sort of have him in a database or have him on their radar so when this happened they were almost immediately able to come out and say we know who this guy is and
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>> we have just gotten some new information in our newsroom. we have a name for the suspect. he has been identified as larry dotson -- dawson, d-a-w-s-o-n, larry dawson, the suspect who reportedly attempted to enter the visitors center at the capitol bearing a weapon and pulling the weapon after the magnetometer was set off, a weapon he used to threaten a capitol police officer. the officer responded by shooting him. larry dawson now identified -- dawson, now identified as the suspect in this shooting this afternoon. we understand the injuries are nonlife threatening, minor injuries, he's in police custody at this time and as pete williams has told us and as chris has just reiterated, this is a man who
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capitol police and was a frequent visitor to the capitol. we're waiting to get more information about who he is, what he's about. we know his name now. but what his motive may have been and any other background information that they may have about this suspect, larry dawson. >> i'm just looking here from the u.s. capitol police records, and, again, we would have to hear from them whether this larry dawson is the same, but apparently sometime late last october a larry dawson was charged with unlawful conduct after an outburst in the u.s. house chamber. there were a few congressmen speaking and dawson was -- came into the chamber and was -- sort of shouted down what was being said at the time and the police escorted him away. so again that was a
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don't know for sure if this was the same larry dawson. but, again, we do know from the u.s. capitol police. they're saying we know who he is, this name is known to us, and he's been here before, and there apparently is a record from the u.s. capitol police of a man named larry dawson last october interrupting a house hearing or a house chamber meeting. >> let's go live back to scott macfarlane. scott? >> reporter: yeah, pat and chris. you asked this question rhetorically. u.s. capitol police have lots of different specialized units. one of the units they have is an intelligence gathering unit. the capitol police chief has told us repeatedly that unit operates off the ground. they're all over the country gathering information and detailing that information to the agency about people who are potential threats. there are a number of people for whom the capitol police have what they call bolos, be on the lookout
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individuals who have be on the lookout orders for them. so when they try to enter the grounds, capitol police throughout the campus are notified. there's a group of individuals who capitol police are quite familiar with and they say they grow familiar with them from far away from d.c. so these are individuals who may not be from washington, d.c. they may not be from mnd or virginia. they may be from quite far away but there's a specialized unit in this 2,000-person u.s. capitol police force that monitors and gathers intelligence about people who are potential threats. if somebody has been known to disrupt a congressional hearing, a protester, they know those people quite well. we asked the capitol police how they handle all these protests in those congressional hearings, how they handle them with a minimum of physical contact. they say they've been communicating with those people before they ever arrive on the grounds. to be clear, individuals who capitol police say they are familiar with, they are very familiar with them. >> so, scott, that raises a
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people are allowed to get to the capitol if they've been in trouble before. chris just mentioned that the person who has been identified or at least who has the same name as the person who has been identified as a suspect in this case was charged with unlawful conduct. so if you have been charged with unlawful conduct, is there a precaution that's taken to keep you away from the building or to have you screened before you get to a magnetometer? >> reporter: there is. the capitol police will get from the judicial officials in d.c. a stay away order for certain people forcing them to stay away from certain parts of the grounds. in fact, there's one individual who the news4 i-team has been monitoring in recent months who has a stay away order for certain buildings in the complex. he can't go into the dirkson building. he can't go into the canon building but perhaps he can still enter the library of congress buildings or a different house or senate building. sometimes the stay away orders are used to keep individuals who are dreamed a threat away from
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for the specific parts of capitol hill where they were a threat in the past or deemed to be a threat in the past. so the stay away orders are used, but sometimes they don't cover the entirety of the capitol grounds. >> scott, from your experience on the hill for our viewers who aren't maybe as familiar, you know, this, you know, disruption of a, you know, of some of the house members speaking was actually in the house chamber where this incident today was at the visitors center. kind of explain or maybe walk our viewers explain how these are two very different things. >> reporter: capitol visitors center is almost, though it's connected underground, it's almost an island to itself. it's an area where staffers and members of congress rarely go unless they're spending time with visitors from home. members of congress and their staffers tend to spend time either in the capitol itself or in the satellite office building, the house or senate office building. that being said, chris, as you know, all of the campus, the liar
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office buildings in the capitol and the cc are all connected by a web of tunnels underground. some have new security checkpoints and metal detectors. you can't walk from one to another without going through security but you can access the entirety of the complex by walking underground but the capitol visitors center is a good distance literally from where so many people do their work. it's an area you just don't travel to unless you're meeting a tour frist hoist from home or visiting the capitol that day. >> thank you, scott. you're watching a live picture now of the scene on capitol hill. it appear this particular scene has cleared out a little. there you see pictures of reporters who are waiting to hear from the new capitol police chief who is expected to address them in -- any moment now
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the shooting there that took place at the capitol center. >> it's a pretty fluid situation. all of this just started coming in a little under two hours ago. you can see folks who are waiting there for the press conference to start. we were initially told 4:15. got pushed back to 4:30 and here we are still waiting. that happens a lot in a situation like this as they try to get an idea of how much information they have and what they're planning to -- what they want to share at this point. and again, we're looking live now at a picture, looks like a static picture there of an area outside the capitol. we've been seeing some different views from wider shots which can show you that a lot of the traffic in and around the capitol is starting to move. there's another shot there of some of the officers. you can see the barricades have been put up. those obviously can go up and dow
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30, 45 minutes or so, and you can see some of the tourists and visitors walking past and some of the officers trying to direct traffic around that area, but, again, what we're seeing now is the security threat level that was so high probably an hour and a half ago now start to come down and the area get back to some sense of normalcy, but again can't imagine that the visitors center will be open anytime soon. and there, i mean, we can take a look -- okay. i guess this is tape video from the last half hour or so. you can see all the folks in red. there were a lot of tour groups in the area at the time. you can see a lot of them leaving that area, and there you can see some of the security forces on alert there earlier. >> and this pickup truck,
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silver pickup truck, we have been told they're checking out. they're investigating it. it apparently has tennessee tags. this silver pickup truck you're seeing in that picture there, and police apparently are checking that out. we hope to get more information about it. perhaps it is tied to this case. we don't know whether perhaps the suspect went to the capitol in this particular vehicle. but we just learned just coming into our newsroom word about the silver pickup truck, a silver pickup truck. one you just saw there with tennessee tags. a vehicle that is now being examined by authorities there on capitol hill. >> which does tie back to the fact we talked about the fact that a man named larry dawson was charged with disrupting a house session back in october. that larry dawson was from tennessee and, again, if this is the vehicle in question with the tennessee tags, that is,
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another thread in connecting these two incidents and leading us further along the path of thinking this is, indeed, the same person. if you were with us maybe half an hour ago, 30 minutes ago, news4's jackie bensen was on the ground sort of walking us through what investigators would likely be doing from her years of covering incidents like this and talking and working with law enforcement, and one of the first things jackie said was they're going to be looking all over this area to find a potential vehicle. how did this man get to the capitol? did he catch the train? did he catch a cab or uber? or did he drive? and if he drove, where did he park? where is his vehicle? because that would be of prime interest in the investigators as they start to retrace his steps as to how and when he got here and ultimately to find out what his motivation may have been. >> again, at this
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live pictures and here is the u.s. capitol police and let's listen in. >> every day thousands of people visit the united states capitol and member offices and over 2 million people a year are screened through the capitol visitors center. today at approximately 2:39 p.m., an adult male subject entered the north screening facility of the capitol visitors center. during routine administrative screening, the individual drew what appeared to be a weapon and pointed it at officers. an officer fired and struck the suspect of who was subsequently treated by medical personnel. the suspect was taken into custody and transported to the hospital for treatment. the suspect is currently undergoing surgery. his condition is unknown at this time. a weapon was recovered on the scene. the congressional cpl
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locked down and uscp ordered a shelter in place. based on the initial investigation at approximately 3:40 p.m., the lockdown was lifted and all buildings except for the cvc which remains processing for crime scene. the suspect's vehicle has been located on capitol grounds and will be cleared of hazards and seized pending service of a search warrant. an uninvolved 35 to 45-year-old female bystander also suffered what appeared to be minor injuries and was transported to the hospital. no officers were injured. it has not been determined as to how many officers fired their weapons. the u.s. capitol police investigations division, the capitol police officer professional responsibility and the metropolitan police are conducting investigations into
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this matter. i stress that much of this information is still very preliminary. i want to stress that while this is preliminary, 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 is anything more than a criminal act. as additional information is gained, i'll provide as much as i can through our public information office. i want to assure the american and visiting public that the u.s. capitol police officers continue to protect the capitol and the cvc for all who visit. we expect regular order of business tomorrow morning at the capitol visitors center. so people can safely visit the united states capitol and their member offices. again, this is preliminary information. as we get more information, i will be happy to provide it through
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>> chief, is this suspect known to you, known to the capitol police? >> while we have not -- i have not received confirmation about who the suspect is, we believe that the suspect is known to us. >> and how was he known to you, sir? >> through previous contacts. >> disruptions, sir? >> he disrupted the house chamber last fall, the gentleman from tennessee? >> i can't comment on that. >> chief, has charges been filed? >> no at this point. >> there's been a lot of talk about security lately in light of what happened in brussels. this check point at the cvc was designed to identify a threat before it could get into the capitol. did this work the way it was designed today? are you satisfied with the response? >> it appears that the screening process works the way it's supposed to. that's correct. again, this is preliminary and i know you want as much information as i can give you but without
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don't want to give you bad information. i'll try to provide series much information as i can so you can certainly get it out to the public. i want to thank you very much. thank you. >> any other concerns -- >> how was the weapon able to get to me. >> if you can hear me that was u.s. capitol police chief matthew verderosa. >> matthew verderosa giving us details about the shooting. the suspect has been identified as larry dawson and according to chief verderosa the suspect is undergoing surgery. a bweapon was recovered at the scene. they have located the suspect's vehicle and there you see a live picture of it. this silver pickup with tennessee tags on it. he also indicated that the second p
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the confusion and the may melee was a 35 to 45-year-old female. >> we were told she was hurt by some sort of flying debris in this confrontation, but she was not shot and they just confirmed it there. but they did say they did have to take her to the hospital, and i think the takeaway for so many people out there who are on edge with who we all saw happen in brussels in the last week or so, that quote from the chief when he said there is no reason to believe this is anything more than a criminal act, which definitely would rule out terrorism or any sort of larger plot. another thing that backs that up, although he wasn't willing to go there, the fact that this man was known to them, that we've identified him as larry dawson, and then to
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thread together that we know that a larry dawson disrupted a house hearing last october, was charged with that disruption. that larry dawson was from tennessee. this vehicle that they have under surveillance right there also has tennessee plates. >> and no charges filed yet against the suspect who is undergoing surgery. also, the cc visitors center is going to be open for business tomorrow. let's go back to scott macfarlane. scott, as you were listening to the chief, what were your thoughts? >> reporter: two things stood out to me in particular. first of all, he said there was a weapon seized at the scene. there was confusion among a lot of the people exiting the scene about whether the individual involved had a weapon. since 2012 at least a dozen weapons have been seized from individuals at checkpoints in the capitol complex. this type of thing does happen. people do bring firearms
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will be open tomorrow. no shortage of a number of people who are concerned about that. going to be a busy tourist day. capitol police among many other things have a bomb squad, and they send two sets of teams out with the bomb squad whenever there's a suspicious vehicle. an explosives unit and hazardous materials unit. this is a specialized group with headquarters in southwest d.c. they're mobile. they move to any suspicious vehicle seen near the grounds. stay away orders are relatively common, at least be on the lookout orders are relatively common for u.s. capitol police and the people who are subject to them can be from other states. in fact, there are people truly from other parts of the country who are subject to be on the lookout orders. they may come a great distance
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confirm a weapon was found and does confirm this individual was taken into surgery, in medical care. perhaps one reason he's yet to be charged with a crime. >> and, scott, just to piggyback on something you just said and again to draw on your own experience, the chief said that they are in the process of clearing the hazards from this truck but also trying to execute a search warrant as well. does that indicate there are sort of two teams working parallel at this point, one to deal with any immediate threat, if there is one, and one more of on an investigative aspect into looking who this man was? >> reporter: when we embedded -- news4 embedded with the u.s. capitol police bomb squad we watched how they do their job. the first thi
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measure the threat. measure the items in the truck, get a sense of what immediate or imminent threat they pose. not just to the area around the vehicle but to themselves. and once they do so, then they can gather evidence. then they can take things in for future investigative work. this is true across the landscape in law enforcement, you measure the threat first, and when u.s. capitol police's bomb squad respond to a suspicious vehicle, they send two teams. the explosives detection team. the one with robotic equipment, and then they send the hazardous materials unit to make sure there aren't substances that are a threat. that is common practice. it's protocol. it's a rather large and vibrant and successful unit inside capitol police. that's likely what's responding to the suspicious vehicle. and it's also a time-consuming process. we wouldn't expect quick work or quick anticipates in this case. >> i know you're
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me looking at the picture of this silver truck, you definitely see a police presence there and it's hard without getting a closer shot to see exactly who they are, you can see the presence there but just behind the truck i'm watching people walk back and forth past it which indicates to me there is no immediate danger of an explosi explosive. i can't imagine they would allow people to get that close if they truly believed that there was, you know, a real threat, an immediate threat that there could be something explosive in there. >> reporter: in my years covering congress i can seen this more times than i can count. the perimeter starts large and narrows as an investigation proceeds. you recall the gyro copter
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when that happened they were blocking roads out of sight and as things normalized you were allowed to get closer and closer and i have seen that before. but they respond to a lot of suspicious packages, a lot of suspicious substances. again, our reporting showed more than 1,200 a year. this is a high-volume work for this agency and for this unit. this is something they train for but more importantly, chris and pat, this is something they do on average three to four times a day. >> scott macfarlane, thanks so much. let's go to darcy spencer. she is on the scene and closer to that truck. darcy, what have you been able to determine? >> reporter: we are on maryland avenue on the southwest side of the capitol. we are right across from the botanical gardens. that is the silver truck in question. it's a dodge ram. there's a tennessee license plate on the back of the
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truck. you can see capitol police officers standing guard around the truck. it's also blocked in behind it by the white van with the police lights on top. there's also a suburban and some other vehicles here in the area blocking the truck. they've been watching it for a while out here. no one has tried to get into the truck. they have not gone into it yet. it sounds like from the press conference they do plan to search this pickup truck but, of course, they need to get a search warrant for them to do that. so that's probably what the holdup is right now. they're just sort of watching it and as scott mentioned, it's very calm out here. you can see tourists around here just outside the capitol. the sidewalks remain open at this time. people are milling back and forth. they have not shut down maryland avenue here. cars are able to come in and go out. so it is rather calm, but it's definitely a silver vehicle here, this ram truck that they're waiting to


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