U.S. authorities closed the U.S. Congress building on Friday after a car broke into a roadblock in its vicinity, while the attacker died of being injured in a police shooting after he waved a knife, in addition to the death of a guard officer.
Acting Congressional Police Chief Ugandananda de Pittman said at a press conference that two congressional police officers were taken to two different hospitals with injuries, one of whom died.
“This has been a very difficult time for the U.S. Capitol Police after the events of January 6th and now the events that took place here today,” Pittman said.
ItA senior congressional aide and congressional police source told CNM that after the driver hit a barrier on Constitution Avenue, the driver came out waving a knife. Congressmen then responded by shooting and detaining the suspect.
The sources told CNN that the suspect was conscious and taken to hospital before his death.
The closure in the Capitol was lifted in the wake of the attack, and the building’s loudspeakers alerted staff that “the closure due to the external threat is over – they continued to follow police directives”.
CNN’s Lauren Fox reported that she saw ambulances and a helicopter land outside the building. One person was also seen on a stretcher.
Earlier, U.S. Capitol Police said via Twitter that they were responding to a “serious incident” after someone driving a car rammed two congressional police officers at the north block of the building.
The incident comes at a time when the security situation in Congress remains at the top of the agenda for many lawmakers despite the recent tightening of some additional preventive measures put in place after Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the building on January 6.
National Guard forces were seen deploying and securing the perimeter of the U.S. Capitol compound.
There are currently approximately 2,300 National Guard personnel in the capital to support local, state and federal authorities in the capital.
The long-standing security situation at the Capitol has also become a subject of increasing debate in recent weeks, as congressional committees continue to press ahead with their investigations into the failures of the January 6 attack.