Several major news outlets are currently reporting gunshots being heard in our nation's capitol, right at Capitol Hill. The Senate and the House have subsequently been put on lockdown. The gunshots come at a particularly tense time, as the federal government is in the middle of a shutdown, due to a deadlocked Congress.
3:18 PM: A Republican congressman from Arkansas, Tim Griffin, has already managed to blame the shooting on Democrats and President Obama. As the lockdown was in place, he Tweeted:
"Stop the violent rhetoric President Obama, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. #Disgusting"
After deleting the Tweet, he's already followed it up with an apology:
The shooting today is a terrible and inexcusable tragedy and an act of terroism. No one but the shooter is to blame. I tweeted out of emotion but agree that the timing was not helpful.
Like we said: Business as usual.
3:14 PM: Local DC news outlets are reporting that a female suspect was shot and killed.
Two eyewitness said U.S. Capitol Police fired multiple shots at a black sedan on Constitution Avenue near the Hart Senate Office Building. Two people — including a child — were removed from the vehicle. One adult from the vehicle appeared to be hit by gunfire, according to a eyewitness on the scene. A helicopter landed on Capitol grounds, and one person was taken away. A female suspect was shot and killed, WJLA reported. Secret Service at the White House say the car slammed into the south side of the White House gate and then fled to Capitol.
3:09 PM: The current news line goes that a female driver tried to ram her car into the White House gate. This comes via NBC News' Pete Williams:
Female driver tried to ram her car into White House gate, Secret Service chased to Capitol Hill - @PeteWilliamsNBC— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 3, 2013
3:04 PM: The Capitol is no longer on lockdown. It seems that the usual madness is beginning to already come back into play:
RT @jwpetersNYT Rep. Darrell Issa just barked at Capitol Police, "Let me by. I'm going though" as he blows past barricade.— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) October 3, 2013
Several people have pointed out that—due to the government shutdown—those same Capitol Police (who are also being shot at) may not recieve a regularly scheduled paycheck the next time they are owed one.
2:43 PM: Bloomberg News is reporting that Congress is on official recess, and that FBI field agents are now on the scene. Capitol police will be holding a briefing at 3PM. As of right now, there is no official connection between the government shutdown and the shooting, though we can expect to hear that question asked—if not answered—at the upcoming press conference.
Twitter's been buzzing with political reporters and politicians themselves noting and photographing the chaos on Capitol Hill at the moment:
Shots fired outside the Capitol. We are in temporary lock down.— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) October 3, 2013
Police securing front, tourists told to run.— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) October 3, 2013
No joke on Capitol Hill as Cops are running with machine guns as reports of shots being fired at Capitol pic.twitter.com/vdjAKkLP4y— Marc Schloss (@marcschloss) October 3, 2013
Something happening outside Capitol. Police running around with guns at ready. pic.twitter.com/7JkF5fMzfS— Alex Leary (@learyreports) October 3, 2013
Cops were chasing a black car near the Capitol building. They cornered the car and that's when shots rang out.— Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody) October 3, 2013
"We heard pop, pop, pop, pop - maybe four shots," says Sen. Casey who was walking over to #Capitol with other senators— Matt Laslo (@MattLaslo) October 3, 2013
Chopper lands west front Capitol pic.twitter.com/h4d6LAofjN— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) October 3, 2013
Scene at Constitution and Louisiana outside Capitol. pic.twitter.com/2Nrtevfx9D— Dave Gustafson (@DaveGustafson) October 3, 2013
We will continue to update this post as official reports come through.